Differences Between Hepatitis A, B and C
Hepatitis refers to a medical condition where the liver experiences severe inflammation. One of the main causes of this condition is a viral infection. It corresponds to three different types, namely hepatitis A, B, and C. While these types are somehow similar, different strains of virus trigger them. Let us learn the differences of these types – their definitions, symptoms, form of transmission, risk factors, and treatment.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A, B and C
The symptoms of each type are very much alike. These are as follows:
- Fever or chills
- Mild to severe pain in the abdomen
- Pain in the joints
- Recurrent vomiting
- Lack of appetite
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
- Dark-colored urine
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) causes Hepatitis A. This condition is most common in Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe. The number of cases of hepatitis A in North America is not so huge, making the condition uncommon in the region.
Meanwhile, HBV (hepatitis B virus) is the main reason hepatitis B occurs. This liver infection can become chronic if there is no proper treatment. It can last for more than six months.
On the other hand, the virus that triggers hepatitis C is HCV or hepatitis C virus. Individuals with hepatitis C can use oral medications to cure their condition. Without accurate treatment, this condition can cause liver damage.
Transmission of Hepatitis
HAV is spread through fecal-oral transmission. It means that the virus is present and existent in an individual’s stool with the infection. Besides stool, you can also get the infection from an infected person’s blood. Direct contact with an infected individual’s blood or stool can put you at risk of hepatitis A.
Other forms of transmission include sexual intercourse with an infected individual. It also includes eating food that is contaminated with the virus. Transmission is also high once you touch public toilets or wash areas.
You can acquire hepatitis B through direct contact with bodily fluids of an individual with the infection, especially blood. The virus transmits through unprotected sex, sharing needles or syringes, and vaginal secretion. You can also get the virus if you share some of your personal items with someone who has the infection. It includes items like toothbrushes and razors.
HCV’s form of transmission is similar to HBV. You can get the infection through irresponsible usage of needles or syringes and engaging in unsafe sexual intercourse with an infected individual. The virus also infects infants if their mothers are infected. Sharing personal items is a big NO as it increases your risk of the infection. Furthermore, those who wish to get a tattoo or piercing must ensure that the equipment is sterilized and cleaned.
Susceptibility to Hepatitis
Here are the following risk factors of each type:
- Sex with the same gender (men to men)
- Individuals who engage in shared injectables
- Individuals who travel in high-risk regions
- Individuals who engage in unprotected sex
- Infants whose mothers are infected
- Individuals using shared injectables
- Patients who undergo dialysis
- Individuals who are fun of using shared needles
- Individuals with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
- Infants whose mothers have HCV
- Patients who undergo dialysis
- Individuals who have a history of blood transfusion
Treatment involving hepatitis A is simple and very accessible. Oral medications are available to treat hepatitis A. Besides medications, eating healthy foods and getting some rest can play a significant role in alleviating the negative impact of this condition. You can also get the vaccine to prevent hepatitis A. It is suitable for adults and children.
Like hepatitis A, oral medications are also available for treating hepatitis B. These medications come in the form of Viread, Vemlidy, and Baraclude. You can also get the vaccine available. Individuals of any age group can avail of this effective vaccine. In most countries it is compulsory to vaccinate all new-born kids with the Hep B shots to ensure safety from this condition.
Currently, there is no vaccine available for hepatitis C. However, antiviral drugs are accessible to eliminate the hostile effects of the infection. Some of the available antiviral drugs are Daklinza, Harvoni, and Sovaldi. Following the prescription for treating hepatitis C is a must to ensure the elimination of the virus within the body. Furthermore, always check with your healthcare professional to know how your condition progresses.