Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It is usually caused by viral infection, toxic agents or drugs.
Symptoms of Disease
- Jaundice (skin color becomes yellow).
- Abdominal pain.
- Liver enlargement.
- Fatigue and sometimes fever.
- It may be mild. Sometimes it is acute and can cause liver cancer.
- Weakness in the body. In severe cases death may occur.
Types of Disease
There are different types of disease:
Earlier, it was called infectious hepatitis. It is transmitted by contact with faces from infected persons. It is caused by HAV virus. The HAV is a non-enveloped RNA virus. It causes mild, short term, and less virulent disease.
It is the second major form of disease. It is transmitted by exchange of body fluid like blood serum, breast from mother to child and sexual contacts. So it is also called serum hepatitis. It is caused by HBV virus. The HBV is common in Asia, China, Philippines, Africa and Arabia etc. Its symptoms are fatigue, loss of jaundice. Infected person can recover completely. He becomes immune to this virus. The chronic infection may damage liver.
It was earlier called non-A, non-B virus. This disease passes from mother to child during pregnancy. It is also transmitted by sexual contacts. It is caused by hepatitis C virus HCV. The HCV is a RNA enveloped virus. It causes infusion disease. It is less severe than HAV or HBV. HCV often leads to chronic liver diseases.
It is called delta hepatitis (as its virus lives inside the HBV virus).
Its virus is transmitted through the faeces of an infected person. The work, of Halbur and coworker (2001) reveals that pig is the source of hepatitis E infection.
Hepatitis F, G
The virus that causes this disease has not been identified.
It can be controlled by following methods:
- Adopting hygienic measures.
- Routine vaccination.
- Screening of blood, organ or tissue of the donor.
- Genetically engineered vaccine is available for HAV.
- Sexual contact should be avoided completely.
- Reuse of used syringes should be avoided.