19 May 2010
Mostly caused by viral infection (hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses), the probability of the diseased condition increases with alcohol consumption, certain drugs, accumulation of fat in liver (fatty liver). Compromising the liver functioning the disease shows long time impact on development of the patient.
Like HIV the hepatitis virus too is transmitted through blood but is even more infectious. The hepatitis virus can stay alive outside a host body for almost seven days and even 0.04 ml of blood transfer can lead to the infection. Testing of hepatitis is now mandatory before blood transfusion.
However, reuse of syringe and unsafe sex are also common causes of infection. The disease can also be passed from a pregnant mother to an unborn child. Contaminated water is also sighted as a cause for hepatitis E.
Hepatitis A and E viruses show impact when a patient suffers from jaundice. Complications are rare and most patients recover completely in a few weeks’ period. The viruses seldom cause major liver damage i.e. chronic hepatitis and never cause permanent liver damage (cirrhosis) or liver cancer. Hepatitis B and C viruses can stays in liver for years and cause permanent damage to liver (cirrhosis) and can lead to liver cancer.
As awareness remains a major factor to prevent and cure the disease, the medical professionals insist on educating masses over the issue and each year May 19 is thus celebrated as World Hepatitis Day.
- Jaundice (yellow discolouration of eyes and skin)
- Dark yellow urine
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Low grade fever or feverishness
- Malaise or body ache
- Mild pain or heaviness in right upper abdomen
- Distaste for tea or coffee