What Are the Symptoms of Hepatitis A
If you have this infection, you have inflammation in your liver that's caused by a virus. You don't always get symptoms,but when you do, you might have:
- Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin, dark urine)
- Pain in your belly
- Loss of appetite
Children often have the disease with few symptoms:
You can spread the hepatitis A virus about 2 weeks before your symptoms appear and during the first week they show up, or even if you don't have any.
What Your Nails Say About Your Health:
How Is It Spread?The virus is in the stool of people with hepatitis A. You can catch the disease if you drink water or food that's been contaminated with the stool of someone with the virus.
You can also get infected if you:
- Eat fruits, vegetables, or other foods that were contaminated during handling
- Eat raw shellfish harvested from water that's got the virus in it
- Swallow contaminated ice
- Live with or have sex with someone who's infected
- Travel to countries where hepatitis A is common
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject illegal drugs
- Kids in child care and their teachers
How Is It Diagnosed:Blood tests allow doctors to diagnose it.
Usually the virus doesn't cause any long-term problems or complications. But according to the CDC, 10% to 15% of people with hepatitis A will have symptoms that last a long time or come back over a 6- to 9-month period. In rare situations, some people may have liver failure or need a transplant.
No treatments can cure the disease. Your doctor may take tests that check your liver function to be sure your body is healing.
Hepatitis A Vaccine:
Vaccination is recommended for:
- Travelers to areas of the world with increased hepatitis A infection
- Men who have sex with other men
- Those with a blood clotting problem
- People who inject illegal drugs
- Anyone with long-term liver disease
- The vaccine is given in doses.
Hepatitis A Can Be Prevented:
Getting vaccinated is your best defense. If you come in contact with someone with hepatitis A, you can get a specific medication called immune globulin within 2 weeks. Good hygiene is also important. Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, before and after handling food, and after changing a diaper.
Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver. Most adults who get it have it for a short time and then get better. This is called acute hepatitis B. Sometimes the virus causes a long-term infection, called chronic hepatitis B. Over time, it can damage your liver. Babies and young children infected with the virus are more likely to get chronic hepatitis B. You can have hepatitis B and not know it. You may not have symptoms. If you do, they can make you feel like you have the flu. But as long as you have the virus, you can spread it to others. It's caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is spread through contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected
You may get hepatitis B if you:
- Have sex with an infected person without using a condom.
- Share needles (used for injecting drugs) with an infected person.
- Get a tattoo or piercing with tools that weren't sterilized.
- Share personal items like razors or toothbrushes with an infected person.
A mother who has the virus can pass it to her baby during delivery. Medical experts recommend that all pregnant women get tested for hepatitis B. If you have the virus, your baby can get shots to help prevent infection with the virus. You cannot get hepatitis B from casual contact such as hugging, kissing,sneezing, coughing, or sharing food or drinks. Many people with hepatitis B don't know they have it, because they don't have symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may just feel like you have the flu.
- Feeling very tired.
- Mild fever.
- Not wanting to eat.
- Feeling sick to your stomach or vomiting.
- Belly pain.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
- Muscle aches and joint pain.
- Skin rash.
- Yellowish eyes and skin (jaundice). Jaundice usually appears only after other symptoms have started to go away.
Most people with chronic hepatitis B have no symptoms.
A simple blood test can tell your doctor if you have the hepatitis B virus now or if you had it in the past. Your doctor also may be able to tell if you have had the vaccine to prevent the virus.
If your doctor thinks you may have liver damage from hepatitis B, he or she may use a needle to take a tiny sample of your liver for testing. This is called a liver biopsy.
How Do You Get Hepatitis C?
You get the hepatitis C virus from the blood or body fluids of an infected person. It can be spread by:
- Sharing drugs and needles
- Having sex, especially if you have an STD, an HIV infection, several sex partners, or have rough sex.
- Being stuck by infected needles
- Through birth from a mother to a child
Hepatitis C is not spread through food, water, or by casual contact.
Who Is at Risk for Hepatitis C:
The CDC recommends you get tested for the disease if:
- You received blood from a donor who had the disease.
- You have ever injected drugs.
- You received a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before July 1992.
- You received a blood product used to treat clotting problems before 1987.
- You were born between 1945 and 1965.
- You have had long-term kidney dialysis.
- You have HIV.
- You were born to a mother with hepatitis C.
How Is Hepatitis C Diagnosed:
You can get a blood test to see if you have the hepatitis C virus.
Are There Any Long-Term Effects of Hepatitis C:
Yes. In people who have hepatitis C, 75% to 85% may develop a long-term infection. Hepatitis C is one of the top reasons that people need a liver transplant.
What's the Treatment for Hepatitis C:
Hepatitis C treatments have changed a lot in recent years. The latest is a once-daily pill called Harvoni that cures the disease in most people in 8-12 weeks. It combines two drugs: Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) and ledipasvir. In clinical trials, the most common side effects were fatigue and headache.
Some 3.2 million Americans have hepatitis C, and about 17,000 more are infected each year. Hepatitis C is the most common infection in the U.S. that is spread through blood. Hepatitis B is also commonly spread through blood. Hepatitis A is usually spread through food or water. All three forms are caused by a virus. Hepatitis can also result from overuse of drugs or alcohol, illnesses, medications, or even an immune disorder.
Certain things can raise your risk of catching the hep C virus, such as overuse of drugs or alcohol, illnesses, medications, or even an immune disorder.