Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) can result from infectious causes and noninfectious causes. Noninfectious causes include alcohol intake, autoimmune conditions, medications etc.
Infection caused by a virus can be called Viral hepatitis. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis E together contribute to the majority of viral Hepatitis cases.
Viral hepatitis is a public health concern in India. Each kind of Hepatitis poses a different kind of challenge for public health personnel.
In this article we will cover about Hepatitis A & Hepatitis E. In the following article, we will cover about Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C.
Hepatitis A & hepatitis E
Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E are caused mainly by contaminated water, poor sanitation and unhygienic handling of food. Hepatitis A infection usually occurs in childhood and 90 to 100% of population acquires Anti HAV antibody and becomes immune by adolescence. India also witnessed many epidemics of Hepatitis E.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A and E
Lack of appetite, low-grade fever, fatigue, yellowish discoloration of eyes and skin, dark colored urine, abdominal discomfort, joint pains, itching are some of the symptoms.
Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E can be diagnosed by immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G response to that particular virus.
Treatment for Hepatitis A and E is usually supportive. Treatment includes rest, plenty of fluids, healthy diet and staying away from medicines that can affect the liver.
Vaccination for Hepatitis A
The vaccine is given around 12 months of age, preferably between 12 and 23 months. Catch up vaccination can be given after 2 years of age.
At present, there is no Vaccine for Hepatitis E
Prevention of Hepatitis A & E infections
- Safe drinking water can prevent Hepatitis A infection
- Improved sanitation measures lower the occurrence of Hepatitis A&E infections
- Hand washing after using a washroom, before preparing meals is an important measure to prevent the spread of infection
Awareness about the mode of transmission and taking preventive measures mentioned above can prevent the spread of infection.
-Dr.Lavanya Aribandi, Chief Medical Officer, eKincare.