As we mentioned in previous articles, hepatitis is characterized by the destruction of a number of liver cells and the presence of inflammatory cells in the liver tissue caused by excessive alcohol drinking, disorders of the gall bladder or pancreas, including medication side effects, and infections. There are many other infective agents that can cause inflammation of the liver, or hepatitis. However, the term is unfortunately commonly used to refer to a particular group of viruses such as Hepatitis A, B, and C.
In this article we will discuss types of hepatitis, there are 5:
1. Hepatitis A (HAV)
Hepatitis A causes swelling and inflammation in the liver and is very common in underdeveloped countries, resulting in drinking water or eating food that is infected by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It can also be transmitted through sexual intercourse. This type of hepatitis usually has slow onset and most people fully recover. Hepatitis A can be discovered by blood testing.
2. Hepatitis B (HBV)
Hepatitis B virus is most often contracted via blood contact such as blood, semen, body fluids, IV drug abusers sharing needles or someone using tainted needles. It can also be transmitted through sexual contact and from mother to baby during childbirth. Hepatitis B causes inflammation of the liver leading to a serious infection that can cause liver damage, which may result in cancer.
3. Hepatitis C (HCV)
Hepatitis C, like hepatitis B is spread via blood and body-fluid contact such as blood, semen, body fluid, IV drug abusers sharing needles or someone using tainted needles. Hepatitis C used to be the most common type of hepatitis acquired through blood transfusions until a test for it became available in the 1980s. Hepatitis C causes inflammation of the liver resulting in liver damage that can lead to cancer. It also commonly leads to chronic liver inflammation and slowly damagesthe liver over a long period of time before leading to cirrhosis of the liver, that means scar tissue replacing normal, healthy tissue in result of blocking the flow of blood through the liver and preventing it from from working as it should.
4. Hepatitis D (HDV)
Hepatitis D is caused by the virus HDV. You can only get hepatitis D if you are already infected with hepatitis B. Hepatitis D also causes inflammation of liver and is transmitted through infected blood, needles and sexual contact with with a person infected with HDV.
5. Hepatitis E (HEV)
Similar to hepatitis A, hepatitis E is also caused by drinking water or eating food that os infected by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It can also be transmitted through sexual intercourse causing temporary swelling of the liver and no long term damage to it.
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