Hepatitis B and C
Hepatitis B - What is it and should you be worried?
Hepatitis B is a type of infection. It mainly affects the liver. Some of the effects of Hepatitis B includes organ scarring, failure of the liver. It can also be the reason for cancer in some cases. It is suggested to take this condition seriously as it can turn out to be very fatal if proper treatment is not applied. If you know someone having Hepatitis B, then you should be careful in interacting with the person. You must allow their blood to come in contact with you or for that matter any other body fluid. The virus can also spread through open sores on the body. It is a very serious disease. It does not concern adults as much as it concern infants. An adult need not worry that much as their immune system is strong enough to fight the disease on its own. It usually takes a few months. Also, once an adult comes clean of the disease, he becomes immune to the disease. If on the other hand, a child is born with Hepatitis B, it is likely to last for the rest of their life.
Symptoms and Signs of Hepatitis B
The most common symptoms or sign that one can notice regarding Hepatitis B include Jaundice. It is a condition you can see your eyes turning a bit yellowish. The skin color also turns to a tone of yellow. The color of pee can also to orange or brown. Secondly, the color of your poop may be turned to lighter shades than normal. Thirdly, You may experience regular fever. One may find that they are having prolonged fatigue issues for long periods ranging from weeks to months. Pain in the belly is one of the symptoms as well. One may also feel a loss of appetite. Regular vomiting and nausea are also among the symptoms of Hepatitis B. It may take up to six months before any visible signs of the virus. It is also possible that symptoms are seen within one month of catching the virus. About 33% of people may not even feel that they ill. In those cases, a blood test is necessary to determine if a person is infected with the virus or not.
Causes of Infection with Hepatitis B Virus
One of the possible reason for people to get infected with Hepatitis B virus includes sexual intercourse. This is by far the leading factor via which people get infected. If your partner is infected with the virus and you come in contact with their blood, vaginal fluids, saliva or semen, you are in great danger of being prone to catching Hepatitis B virus. It is therefore highly recommended not to have unprotected sex. Governments across the globe run campaigns to spread awareness regarding unprotected sex and the importance of condom. One more common reason includes the sharing of infected needles. This is one of the reasons why it is mandatory to use disposable syringes in almost all medical facilities including hospitals, dispensaries among others. It is very common among youth population to share needles while consuming illegal drugs and thus they left themselves open to attack by the deadly virus. It is very necessary to spread awareness regarding this subject on a global scale. Newborn babies are also prone to the virus if their mothers have it. The virus can be passed from mother to their children. Although this concern many parents around the world, many vaccines are available to prevent it from happening.
Like Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C also affects the human liver. It is also known by its short form HCV. There are very view signs and symptoms which means that the disease can go undetected. There are different kinds of this virus of which the most widespread is type 1. Each of the types of Hepatitis C is equal in their seriousness. This virus affects different people in separate ways. There are several stages starting from incubation period which then turns to acute Hepatitis C. After this the next stage is Chronic Hepatitis C which then leads to Cirrhosis and finally to liver cancer. The incubation period of the disease is the duration from 1st exposure up to the start of illness. This period may range from two to 12 weeks. The average incubation period in 45 days. The second stage, Acute Hepatitis C starts after the person has acquired the virus. It lasts for approximate 180 days after which it may vanish on its own from the person body. Although some people can get rid of it in the second stage, a few cases go to the third stage or the Chronic Hepatitis C stage. This is a long-term condition which can lead to cirrhosis and cancer. Cirrhosis is a condition which causes inflammation and the cells of the liver are replaced with scar tissues. This Usually occurs over a course of 25 years give or take but certain factors can pace it up like drinking alcohol on a regular basis. It also speeds up if the person is infected with the HIV virus. Cirrhosis also leads to liver cancer in a few cases.
Difference between Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
As mentioned in the above discussion, both type B and type C affects the liver and more or less they have the same symptoms. However, there is one major difference between them. On one hand, Hepatitis B can spread through bodily fluids. On the other hand, for Hepatitis C, there needs to be blood to blood contact. Although some people believe, none of them spreads through breast milk or coughing. It also does not spread if you eat with an infected person. Major population infected with the virus come to know about the infection only when it has reached an advanced state. At present, there is no cure for the Hepatitis B virus but doctors have found a cure for Hepatitis C virus. There are some vaccines available for prevention of Hepatitis B. They help the body to make antibodies which can fight the infection. To be safer, a person should impose his or her lifestyle. We should avoid sharing or needles and shaving razors. Drinking should be limited and unprotected sex should be demoted.