General Health

Contributing Factors for Hepatitis A, B and C

Hepatitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the liver that exists in different types. These hepatitis types include A, B and C. In the U.S. viral hepatitis is the most common type and accounts for roughly 50% of acute U.S. hepatitis cases, and results from contracting the hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), or hepatitis C virus (HCV), leading to early warning symptoms of nausea, jaundice, abdominal pain, and chronic fatigue.

Each hepatitis type has its cause, symptoms, and treatments that are determined through lab tests, as follows:

1. Contributing factors of hepatitis, A
The cause of hepatitis A is usually a virus called hepatitis A virus (HAV) which is highly contagious. The virus affects the cells of the liver causing inflammation which affects the normal functioning of the liver. The contributing factor or the causes of hepatitis A include the following:

  • Drinking water that is contaminated
  • Sexual intercourse with a person infected with the virus
  • Eating food that has been handled by a person infected with the virus
  • Eating raw shellfish from water that is sewage polluted

Hepatitis A vaccine is the hepatitis medication meant to prevent this particular type, which is why it’s often recommended prior to travel. There are no hepatitis treatment options for hepatitis A as the body clears the virus on its own and in many cases, the liver tends to heal within six months and does not sustain lasting damages.

2. Contributing factors of hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can either be acute or chronic. Acute is one that is short-lived while chronic is one that is long lasting. Hepatitis B is caused by a virus called hepatitis B virus (HBV). Some of contributing of these viruses are as follows:

  • Sexual contact with an infected person
  • sharing of needles with an infected person
  • Accidental needle sticks (i.e., health workers) or blood contact with an infected person
  • Mother to a child (passed on the baby during delivery)

Newborns can be vaccinated to prevent contracting the virus from an infected mother. While adult patients are typically given antiviral medications (i.e., telbivudine, adefovir, entecavir, etc.) which fight the virus while slowing liver damage.

3. Contributing factors of hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is usually caused by a virus called hepatitis C virus, which is contracted via contact with contaminated blood from an infected person via the bloodstream (i.e., tattoo and piercing equipment, dialysis, etc.). Hepatitis C virus has many different forms called genotypes classified as type 1, type 2 and so on. Type 1 and 2 have spread in many parts of the world. While Type 1 genotype is most common in Europe and North America and type 2 in Europe and the U.S.

Hepatitis c treatment options include weekly injections or oral medications, if the side effects are tolerable.


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