Understanding Hepatitis

The Inflammation of the Liver
By Cheyenne Tyler Jacobs

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Hepatitis is defined as liver inflammation. It has five viruses: Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis D and E are not as common in the US, but the breakdown of these five viral virus categories is as follows:

The Immunization Action Coalition broke down the causes, symptoms, and treatment of HAV, HBV, and HCV.

What are the types of Hepatitis?

Hepatitis A (HAV)

It is transmitted through fecal-oral transmission from an infected person or contaminated shellfish. Research shows Hepatitis HAV accounts for around 25% of cases, and about 85 percent of people with hepatitis recover within three to six months.

Hepatitis B (HBV)

It is transmitted through blood and certain body fluids. Having sex with an unprotected person, sharing needles, and from mother to baby at birth are ways HBV can pass. Research states that when an individual is first infected, it is called an acute infection; after six, it is called a chronic infection.

Hepatitis C (HCV)

It is transmitted through blood and body fluids through sharing needles with an infected person, sharp objects, or from mother to baby at birth. Research states when individuals are infected, they may not experience any symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

Although the infection transmission is different across the forms of Hepatitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms are as follows below:

  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Lightly colored stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea

What are treatments and prevention measures?

Hepatitis A (HAV)

Vaccinations are one of the best prevention measures and are available for 12-23 months and are open for 2-18 years. In addition, there are treatments to support the easing of the symptoms.

Hepatitis B (HBV)

Vaccinations are open for all infants and all people 19 and younger. Vaccinations are also available for individuals who are sexually active and are at risk of being infected. Although no medication is available, an individual can monitor the signs of liver disease progression, and anti-viral drugs are available.

Hepatitis C (HCV)

No vaccines are available for Hepatitis C. Current treatment of chronic hepatitis C involves 8-12 weeks of oral pills.

Early intervention is always crucial, and speaking to a healthcare provider about your needs is recommended. Please visit the HUED directory to find a provider that can help.

Site content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment