What is hepatitis?
- Inflammation of liver is usually referred as hepatitis.
- Infection or non-infectious causes – Infectious is mainly by virus
What is viral hepatitis?
- Hepatitis is caused by the hepatotrophic viruses A, B, C, D and E.
- D is not a concern in India
How are these viruses different?
- A and E are spread from unhygienic food practices
- A is seen usually before 25 years of age and is most common cause of liver failure in children
- E is mainly seen in adults. E in pregnancy is dangerous causing 20-25% mortality
- A & E virus infections are self-limiting and immunity is life long
- B & C are spread by unsafe sexual practices and by contact with infected blood
- Tattoo, razors, toothbrushes, dental extractions are also risk factors
- They cause chronicity and can cause permanent liver damage
What are the symptoms?
- A, E and rarely B present acutely with jaundice, fever, malaise, bodyache, anorexia, nausea
- C and most of the time B is chronic (> 6 months) – No symptoms – diagnosed when investigated routinely
What Happens if left undiagnosed
- Acute Liver Failue
- Cirrhosis – Hemetemesis, Jaundice, Ascites, Oedema, Encephalopathy
- Liver Cancer
- Simple blood tests can diagnose all of these infections
- Sonography , Fibroscan and other higher blood tests are required for staging
- Vaccination for A and B
- Beyond 2002 it is a part of national immunization schedule
- A and E – supportive
B and C – Drugs are available with great efficacy to cure