Preventive Measures against Hepatitis
Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver that can cause severe health problems if left untreated. There are different types of hepatitis, and each has its specific causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
There are five types of hepatitis as listed below.
Hepatitis A- hepatitis A virus causes this type of hepatitis. The virus is brought about by fecal contamination. However, it is not a chronic condition.
Hepatitis B- this type of virus is spread through body fluids with the cause coming from unprotected sex, untreated syringes, and unsafe razors and sharing any intimate articles with an infected person. This type of hepatitis is chronic.
Hepatitis C- like hepatitis B, this virus is spread through body fluids or drug injections. It is also chronic.
Hepatitis D- this type of virus is often contracted along with hepatitis B. It is, however, not chronic and very uncommon.
Hepatitis E- hepatitis E is caused by poor sanitation and poor disposal of fecal matter. It is, however, very uncommon.
General Causes of Hepatitis
1. Virus- this is the most common way of contracting this condition. The virus causes inflammation of the liver once it gets there and interferes with the body systems.
2. Alcohol and contaminants- this type of hepatitis is known as alcoholic hepatitis. It is caused by alcohol and some contaminants such as certain medications that lead to liver inflammation.
3. Autoimmune disease- this type of hepatitis attacks the liver and leads to the malfunctioning of the immune system. It is, however, very uncommon.
How to prevent hepatitis
As there are different types of hepatitis, preventive measures are also different for each. Nonetheless, the most common ones are hepatitis A, B, and C, and more focus is put on them. The best preventive measure for all these types is vaccination or screening. You can get a hepatitis screening package which is affordable and available from clinics and online health providers.
How to prevent Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is caused by consuming contaminated food or water that has the virus in it. The best preventive measure for this virus is to get vaccinated. Hepatitis A vaccine is usually given as a series of two shots six months apart. Kids should get a vaccine of this once they are one-year-old.
For adults, the vaccine is necessary when or if you:
- Travel a lot to different parts of the world or where the virus is common
- Are in the military
- Work in a day-care centre, or a health care institution
Other ways to prevent hepatitis A include:
- Wash hands after using the toilet or after a diaper change
- Drink boiled water
- Consume fresh food
- Eat clean, fresh fruits. Also, avoid eating salads from restaurants or streets since you do not know if they were properly washed
How to prevent Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can be prevented by getting a Hepatitis B vaccine. These vaccines are made from inactivated viruses and are given in a sequence of three or four shots for over months.
Ways to prevent hepatitis B include the following:
- Practice safe sex
- Use new clean syringes
- Do not share intimate articles such as razors and toothbrushes
- Be cautious when getting a tattoo. Ensure that the needles are new and sterilized
- Get vaccinated
How to prevent hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is chronic but can be prevented by:
- Avoid too much alcohol
- Never share needles
- Use sterilized equipment for tattoos and piercings
- Never share intimate items
- Cover and treat infected wounds
For hepatitis C, D, and E, there are no available vaccines. Hepatitis C is, however, curable with the modern, effective antiviral medications.
Hepatitis D occurs in the presence of hepatitis B. a hepatitis B vaccine can, therefore, ensure that hepatitis D does not occur.
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