Hepatitis is a viral disease that affects the liver and could cause serious damage to it and to the whole human organism if not treated well.
There exist hepatitis type A, B, C, D, E, non-A, and non-B, caused by A, B, C, D, E viruses.
Preventing hepatitis is better than treating it. There are some methods of prevention which you can easy apply: wash your hands every time before eating and after using the toilet; avoid unhealthy living places; when traveling to developing countries you should be very careful with what you are eating and drinking and make sure that the water you drink is not contaminated by sewage. When swimming in the pool, make sure there is good sanitation.
Teach your family members to keep a good hygiene, to practice safe sex or abstinence and to avoid needles.
Also, if one is contaminated wake sure you clean well with antiseptic cleansers the toilet.
There is a vaccine against hepatitis A and it is addressed to those who travel a lot, who work with infected persons, who change frequently their sex partners and to those who already have a liver disease.
There also exists a vaccine for Hepatitis B, but unfortunately there has not been discovered one for hepatitis C too.
The period of incubation for Hepatitis A virus lasts 2 to 6 weeks. Generally a patient who has developed this disease will recover well, without complications, and will not develop the chronic form of the disease. After recovering, the patient will not pass the virus to other persons too.
The period of incubation for Hepatitis B lasts 4 to 20 weeks, and also, 85% to 90%
Of the infected will recover well without any complications.10% to 15% can develop cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis.
For Hepatitis C the period of incubation is 2 to 26 weeks, and 75% to 85% do not recover well and develop chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, even liver cancer. They can also spread the virus to other healthy persons.
Treating hepatitis A with drugs is not necessary because the disease goes away on its own.
There are some drugs useful in treating hepatitis B and C but some are not recommended to the children.
Generally, the treatment is done in hospital, but if you only have a mild form of the disease you can stay at home. Children especially, should eat smaller, more frequent meals and liquids that are rich in calories and proteins. Call the doctor if you see any of these following symptoms referring to a worsening of the liver condition: skin rash, confusion, and itching, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.