Modes of Transmission

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How hepatitis is transmitted?

 

  • Hepatitis A – this is caused by eating infected food or water. The food or water is infected with a virus called HAV (Hepatitis A Virus). Anal-oral contact during sex can also be a cause. Nearly everyone who develops Hepatitis A makes a full recovery – it does not lead to chronic disease.
  • Hepatitis B – this is an STD (sexually transmitted disease). It is caused by the virus HBV (Hepatitis B Virus) and is spread by contact with infected blood, semen, and some other body fluids. You get Hepatitis B by: 

 

    • Unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person (unprotected sex means without using a condom) Using a syringe that was previously used by an infected person (most commonly happens with drug addicts and people who inject steroids).

 

    • Having your skin perforated with unsterilized needles, as might be the case when getting a tattoo, or being accidentally pricked. People who work in health care risk becoming infected by accident in this way. Sharing personal items, such as a toothbrush or razor, with an infected person.

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    • A baby can become infected through his mother’s milk if she is infected.

 

    • Being bitten by someone who is infected.

 

The liver of a person infected with Hepatitis B swells. The patient can suffer serious liver damage due to infection, resulting in cancer. For some patients, hepatitis becomes chronic (very long-term or lifelong). Donated blood is always tested for Hepatitis B.

 

  • Hepatitis C – Hepatitis C is usually spread through direct contact with the blood of a person who has the disease. It is caused by the virus HCV (Hepatitis C Virus). The liver can swell and become damaged. In hepatitis C, unlike hepatitis B, liver cancer risk is only increased in people with cirrhosis and only 20% of hep C patients get cirrhosis. Feces is never a route of transmission in hepatitis C. Donated blood is also tested for Hepatitis C.

 

  • Hepatitis D – only a person who is already infected with Hepatitis B can become infected with Hepatitis D. It is caused by the virus HDV (Hepatitis D Virus). Infection is through contact with infected blood, unprotected sex, and perforation of the skin with infected needles. The liver of a person with Hepatitis D swells.

 

  • Hepatitis E – a person can become infected by drinking water that contains HEV (Hepatitis E Virus). The liver swells but there is no long-term consequence. Infection is also possible through anal-oral sex.

 

  • Hepatitis X – if hepatitis cannot be attributed to the viruses of hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E, it is called Hepatitis X. In other words, hepatitis of an unknown virus.

 

  • Hepatitis G – this is a type of hepatitis caused by the Hepatitis G virus (HGV). Usually there are no symptoms. When there are symptoms they are very mild.

 

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