How can one prevent Hepatitis?
Hepatitis, as the name suggests, is caused by liver inflammation which is a vigorous response of the liver tissues to an injury or irritation. This results in pain and swelling. Amongst the various reasons, viral hepatitis is caused by a virus and can be acute (symptoms less than six days in duration). Chronic if lasting more than six months, making chronic hepatitis treatment urgent. Viral hepatitis can spread from one to the next person in various ways. Some types of hepatitis can spread through sexual contact as well.
Types of Hepatitis Viruses
There are five known hepatitis viruses, classified according to the letters A to E, namely:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis D
- Hepatitis E
Other viruses that can cause hepatitis are:
Am I at Risk for Hepatitis?
You will know if you are at risk if you:
- Have unprotected oral and/or anal sex
- Share needles with drugs
- Have a large number of sexual partners
- Have a poor diet
- Drink a lot of alcohol
- Dialysis for years
- Are a hospital or clinical worker with first-hand dealing of patients
- Have poor sanitary living conditions
- Suffer from chronic liver disease
- Are on recreational drugs
- Are a militant
- Are a homosexual male
- Are taking blood products used to treat hemophilia or other diseases.
How Can I Prevent Hepatitis Infection?
There are many ways to protect your health from this, such as the following:
- Maintain good personal hygiene, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water
- Get hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines after consulting your doctor
- Avoid sharing needles
- Use condoms during sex as a policy
- Make sure of sterilization while piercings and tattoos
- Never use the personal belongings of an infected person
- Take precautions when traveling to areas with poor sanitation in the world
- Be up-to-date with your vaccine
- Drink packed water while on a trip. Find a water-atm if possible
When you are at risk, it is very important to take these precautions to avoid infection and hepatitis treatment, and liver failure treatment. If you work in a nursing home, dormitory, kindergarten, or restaurant where you have long-term contact with others and are at risk of illness, you should also take preventive measures.
Travel Precautions for Hepatitis
If you are traveling to countries that are poor in sanitation or have a high prevalence of hepatitis like Asia (excluding Japan), the Mediterranean region, Africa, Eastern Europe, Central and South America, Mexico, Middle Eastern countries, and parts of the Caribbean region.
You should always get a travel consultation with your physician. Tell your liver specialist your travel plan so that they can check for the prevalence of hepatitis there and decide on vaccination. If you plan to travel to a hepatitis A outbreak area, remember that the vaccine will not take effect until 2-4 weeks after vaccination. If you want long-term protection, you will need a follow-up visit for vaccination to be given after 6-12 months.
If you did not get the hepatitis A vaccine one month before your trip, you could get hepatitis A immune globulin before the departure date. This is a preventive measure against hepatitis A infection within two weeks before or after exposure to the virus. When going to a place where the virus is spreading, please pay attention to your diet. The chances of infection are very high if you consume dirty water or ice. Undercooked or raw food is not healthy and can infect you as well.
It is a good idea to take the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines. Hepatitis C does not have a vaccine. The hepatitis B vaccine should prevent you from developing hepatitis D because hepatitis D can only occur after hepatitis B infection. For hepatitis E, we do not yet have FDA approval, but a hepatitis vaccine does exist in China. If you need treatment, do not worry. Even if you are at a stage of transplantation, just search for the best liver transplant hospital in Coimbatore.