Know these hepatitis facts

Image: Know these hepatitis facts

Here are some helpful tips for identifying and preventing hepatitis!

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a disease which causes inflammation of the liver. There are 3 most common types of hepatitis, referred to as Hepatitis A, B, and C. There are also much rarer cases of hepatitis which include D, E, and autoimmune hepatitis.

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation. Hepatitis B accounts for about 80% of liver cancer cases.

What are some common hepatitis symptoms?

Symptoms commonly associated with hepatitis include:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Feeling tired
  • Stomach aches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Headaches

Can hepatitis be prevented?

There are steps you can take to minimize your risk of contracting hepatitis. These include:

  • Immunization for Hepatitis A and B
  • - Research shows that safe and effective vaccines provide protection against hepatitis A and B for 15-20 years or more.
  • - Vaccines are especially important before travelling to locations where hepatitis is widespread.
  • Wash your hands before meals
  • Avoid tap water when travelling to certain countries or regions with high rates of infected persons
  • Do not share personal items such as toothbrushes, razors and nail clippers with infected persons
  • Be cautious about body piercing and tattooing
  • - Look for a reputable shop and ask employees about how the equipment is cleaned
  • Do not reuse needles or use illegal intravenous drugs
  • Wear gloves when handling bodily fluids

Take the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s online risk assessment test available here and encourage your friends and family to assess their risk as well. Contact your doctor to find out how you can get tested.