WHAT IS VIRAL HEPATITIS?
Viral Hepatitis: It is the inflammation and necrosis of the liver caused by a virus or group of viruses.
There are other types of hepatitis, including hepatotoxic and drug-related hepatitis and alcoholic hepatitis.
Types of viral hepatitis
There are many types of viral hepatitis
Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E and G, etc.
HEPATITIS B: It is caused by the Hepatitis B virus. A hepatic DNA virus with a partially double-stranded DNA genome.
HEPATITIS C: This is a serious and often silent liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus, a single-stranded RNA virus. At least six major genotypes have been identified.
Hepatitis B and C viruses are spread through contact with infected blood or blood products.
For example, through contaminated needles (including unsterilized tattoo needles), accidental needle sticks in health care workers, and unprotected sex, sharing nail clippers, razors, or toothbrushes.
-Unselected blood transfusions.
OTHER TRANSMISSION MODES
It can also be present in saliva, semen and vaginal secretions and through HbsAg-positive mothers to children (maternal-neonatal transmission). Hepatitis B is prevalent in homosexuals and intravenous drug users, but most cases are due to heterosexual transmission. The incubation period for hepatitis B is 6 weeks to 6 months (average 12 to 14 weeks). That of Hepatitis C is between 6-7 weeks and the clinical disease is usually mild, generally asymptomatic.
Signs and symptoms
Hepatitis C has been called “the silent killer” because the virus often hides in the body for years, escaping detection when it attacks the liver. Since most people don’t have warning signs of hepatitis C (or don’t know how or when they got infected).
They do not seek treatment until many years later. By the time hepatitis C symptoms appear or a diagnosis is made, the damage is often already underway.
If symptoms do appear, they can be mild or severe. Among the most common complaints are:
muscle gold joint pan
Pain in the upper right part of the abdomen
dark yellow urine
Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)
Pale stools, easy bleeding, easy bruising.
Yellow eyes: a symptom
Acute and chronic hepatitis
ACUTE HEPATITIS, as its name implies, means that the illness is sudden and short-lived, occurring within the first two weeks to six months of infection.
In up to 25% of cases, the virus clears the body on its own without treatment.
For hepatitis to change from an acute to a chronic state, there must be a persistent infection after six months, and often much longer.
It is estimated that between 75% and 85% of people with acute hepatitis develop a chronic infection.
Unless symptoms develop, people with hepatitis C usually don’t know they have the infection until it’s discovered during a routine blood test.
A simple blood test can tell if one is infected or not.
Routine tests include:
Tests for HbsAg
Tests for Anti-HCV.
Further testing and testing is done for people who test positive in previous tests.
COMPLICATIONS OF CHRONIC HEPATITIS
One in four people with chronic hepatitis C develops cirrhosis, or severe scarring of the liver.
These people may have additional symptoms, including swelling of the legs and abdomen, spider-like blood vessels, and a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream that can lead to brain damage.
People with chronic hepatitis B, particularly when HBV infection is acquired early in life and viral replication persists, are at considerable risk of developing cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Chronic hepatitis C is also one of the main causes of liver cancer.
Treatments have improved tremendously over the years. Current medications are more effective at clearing the virus from the body and have fewer side effects.
The type of treatment you receive will depend on the genotype, or strain, of your hepatitis, as well as the damage to your liver.
TREATMENT OF HEPATITIS B
The goal of treating chronic hepatitis B is to control the virus and prevent it from damaging the liver. This starts with regular monitoring for signs of liver disease.
Antiviral medications can help, but not everyone can take them.
TREATMENTS: CHRONIC HEPATITIS C
Some of the newer medications for hepatitis C genotypes 1, 2, and 3 include: Daclatasvir (Daklinza); Elbasvir/grazoprevir (Zepatier); Ledipasvir (Harvoni); Ombitasvir, paritaprevir, and ritonavir with dasabuvir tablets (Viekira Pak); Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (Epclusa); Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi); Daclatasvir (Daklinza) with sofosbuvir (Sovaldi); and Sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (Epclusa).
PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF HEPATITIS B
The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all babies at birth and for adults.
PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF HEPATITIS C
Currently, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.
Avoid any contact with body fluids by protecting yourself with protective measures.
Chlamydia – This is a common STD that can lead to infertility if left untreated. Clears up quickly with antibiotics. But it often goes unnoticed because symptoms are vague or absent.
Women with symptoms may notice
– An abnormal vaginal discharge;
– Pain when urinating.
Symptoms in men can include:
A download of your
a burning sensation when
to pee; (dysuria)
Pain and swelling in one
or both testicles
Can chlamydia be cured?
Yes, chlamydia can be cured with proper treatment. When taken correctly, it will stop the infection and could lower your chances of having complications later on.
Gonorrhea spreads easily and can cause infertility in both men and women.
Antibiotics can stop the infection.
– Burning on urination and discharge.
– Later, the infection can cause skin rashes or spread to the joints and blood.
In Men: Discharge from the penis, swollen testicles.
In Women: Vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, spotting. Symptoms can be mild and are easily mistaken for a vaginal or urinary tract infection.
Most people don’t notice the early symptoms of syphilis. Without treatment, it can lead to paralysis, blindness, and death.
Syphilis can be cured with antibiotics.
Signs and symptoms: The first sign is usually a firm, round, painless sore on the genitals or anus. The disease spreads through direct contact with this sore.
Later, there may be a rash on the soles of the feet, the palms of the hands, or other parts of the body, as well as swollen glands, fever, hair loss, or fatigue. In the last stage, damage to organs such as the heart, brain, liver, nerves, and eyes occurs.
Herpes simplex virus type 2
Most cases of genital herpes are caused by a virus called HSV-2. It is highly contagious and can be spread through sexual intercourse or direct contact with a herpes sore.
There is no cure. But antiviral drugs can make outbreaks less frequent and help clear up symptoms more quickly.
Symptoms: Fluid-filled blisters that form painful, crusty sores on the genitals, anus, thighs, or buttocks. It can spread to the lips through oral contact.
The HIV virus weakens the body’s defenses against infection. HIV is spread through unprotected sex, sharing needles, or being born to an infected mother. It may not cause symptoms for years, so a blood test is the best way to find out its status.
Prompt treatment is important to help prevent serious illness. Many have no symptoms, but some people have temporary flu-like symptoms a month or two after infection: swollen glands (seen here), fever, headaches, and fatigue. Canker sores can also occur in the mouth.
HIV TREATMENT OPTIONS
Although there is no cure for HIV, there are medications that can suppress the amount of virus that multiplies inside the body. People take a combination of antiviral drugs in hopes of preventing the infection from progressing to AIDS.
Trichomoniasis is caused by a parasite that is spread during sexual contact. It can be cured with prescription medications.
Signs and symptoms in men: Most men have no obvious symptoms. Some develop a mild discharge or slight burning when urinating.
Signs and symptoms in women: Women may develop a greenish-yellow discharge with a strong odor, vaginal itching, or pain during intercourse or urination. Symptoms usually begin five to 28 days after acquiring the parasite.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious complication of untreated STDs, especially chlamydia and gonorrhea.
It occurs when bacteria spread to infect the uterus and other female reproductive organs. Timely treatment is essential to prevent damage to a woman’s fertility.
Signs and symptoms: lower abdominal pain, fever, unusual discharge, pain during intercourse, painful urination, and spotting. However, there are often no warning signs.
Who is at risk for STDs?
Anyone who is sexually active is at risk of contracting an STD, regardless of gender, race, social class, or sexual orientation.
That said, teens and young adults get STDs more easily than older people.
Can virgins get sexually transmitted diseases?
If you can. Many STDs are spread through any type of sexual activity, including skin-to-skin contact and oral sex. This is especially true of STDs that cause genital sores or lesions.
Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases
The best way to avoid getting an STD is to abstain from any sexual contact.
Do not share sharp objects or needles.
Avoid the use of non-sterile objects.
Make hygiene a priority.