Is Hepatitis Contagious? (All You Need To Know About Hepatitis)

Is Hepatitis Contagious? (All You Need To Know About Hepatitis)

Hepatitis is, simply put, the inflammation of the liver. It is mainly caused by a viral infection, but it can also be due to other factors, such as drugs, toxins, and medication. Is hepatitis contagious? The answer depends on what type of liver infection you have. One of the common signs to watch out for is when your eye turns yellowish and shows eye infection manifestations. Hepatitis A virus is highly contagious, and people with hepatitis can infect other people before the symptoms of the disease show up.

 

 

What’s Viral Hepatitis?

hepatitis infection on liverViral hepatitis takes place when you get exposed to a virus that leads to liver damage. There are about five types of hepatitis, but the most common are hepatitis a, hepatitis b, and hepatitis c. While these viruses differ in nature, their common denominator is that they attack the liver. Their symptoms might also be the same, but the treatments are different.

 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is common in people who are always outdoors. It can be prevented with a vaccine and does not require long-term treatments. In this type, your liver could heal in two months. But beware as it is very contagious and can be spread in simple exposures. An infected person can recover completely without any permanent liver damages. However, there are cases of hepatitis A that lead to fatality; this commonly happens to older adults with existing chronic liver disease.

Who’s at risk of Hepatitis A?

The most common way for a person to get hepatitis A virus is by drinking or eating food with the virus. This frequently takes place in restaurants and dirty food chains. If an infected person prepares your meal without washing their hands, particularly after using the bathroom, they might pass the virus to you.

Rarely, the foods and beverages in supermarkets contain the virus too. The following are usually the contaminated food:

  • shellfish
  • fruits and vegetables
  • water and ice

You can also get the virus infection if you take care of a baby and disregards handwashing after changing diapers. This typically happens to employees at a daycare center. Additionally, you can also get hepatitis A by having sex with someone infected.

 

Hepatitis B

A lot of people with Hepatitis B can recover within six months. However, it could cause a long-term infection that results in severe liver damage. After getting the disease, you can spread the virus even though you do not feel sick. Like hepatitis A, you can prevent catching the disease by getting vaccinated.

Who’s at risk of Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B virus can be found in semen, blood, and other bodily fluids. Infected people can get this virus by having sexual contact with someone infected. Moreover, you can also get the infection by:

  • Sharing dirty syringes during illegal drug use
  • Having direct contact with infected blood or fluids from someone with the disease. Perhaps sharing a toothbrush or razor with them.
  • Pregnant women with hepatitis B can also infect their babies. If the babies were born with hepatitis B, they would need to have immediate treatment after birth.

 

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C does not usually pose any symptoms. Around 80% of hepatitis C patients live with the disease long-term. It might even result in cirrhosis, and to this writing, there is still no vaccine for it. What’s tricky about hepatitis C is that a person cannot get infected through blood or water. It can be passed to another person through sex, but that is not quite common. However, you might get a liver infection by sharing needles or getting in contact with infected blood.

Who’s at risk of Hepatitis C?

People might be at risk of hepatitis C if they have had blood transfusions before 1992. It’s the time where new screening rules were implemented. The blood used for transfusions these days are adequately safe due to the new processes where hepatitis B and C are checked initially.

Rarely, a pregnant woman can pass on the disease to an unborn baby. If this is the case, the child would need immediate treatment. There are some interesting beliefs about how you may contract the disease, but only one thing is for sure, you can’t spread it by:

  • sneezing
  • hugging
  • kissing
  • sharing utensils

Symptoms to Watch out For

hepatitis symptomsOne of the most common symptoms is jaundice when your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow.

But it’s important to know that not everyone gets jaundice. Some people might experience flu-like symptoms like weakness and tiredness. Below are the signs that come with hepatitis:

  • loss of appetite
  • stomach ache
  • fever
  • vomiting and nausea
  • dark-colored urine
  • joint pain
  • diarrhea
  • light-colored stools

Be sure to inform your doctor if you experience any of these signs. Unfortunately, some people don’t even show any signs, and you will have to get tested to be sure.

When would symptoms show?

The signs will show up according to the type of Hepatitis you’ve got.

Hepatitis A

After entering the body, the virus will start to make itself evident in about two to six weeks. They can stay inside for six months, but they could only last for two months with treatment.

Hepatitis B and C

The signs for Hep B and C could show up six weeks to six months after you get infected. Some people live with the disease long time and get liver damage as well.

 

 

 

 

 

References:

Types of Hepatitis: A, B, and C (https://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/digestive-diseases-hepatitis)

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