Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver . It can be caused by viruses or by the use of some medicines, alcohol and other drugs, as well as by autoimmune, metabolic and genetic diseases. They are silent diseases that do not always show symptoms . In this post we will answer your doubts about viral hepatitis, check it out!
What are viral hepatitis?
They are silent diseases , caused by viruses that damage the liver and can lead to cirrhosis and cancer. There are several types of hepatitis classified by letters of the alphabet: A, B, C, D and E.
How is viral hepatitis transmitted?
Hepatitis A and E are transmitted via the orofecal route and cause benign acute infections, which evolve to cure without the need for specific treatment. Hepatitis B, C and D can progress to chronic hepatitis , which has cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma as its main complications.
You do not get hepatitis bec by:
– Coughing or sneezing;
– Kisses or hugs;
– Food or water;
– Casual contact (as in the office environment);
– Sharing utensils to eat or drink.
The evolution of hepatitis varies according to the type of virus
Viruses A and E present only acute forms of hepatitis (having no potential for chronic forms). This means that, after hepatitis A or E, the individual can recover completely , eliminating the virus from his body. On the other hand, hepatitis caused by viruses B, C and D can present both acute and chronic forms of infection, in the latter case, when the disease persists in the body for more than six months.
How is the diagnosis of viral hepatitis made?
The laboratory diagnosis of viral hepatitis includes tests of liver function and the search for specific serological markers (antigens and antibodies). Complementary tests for the direct detection of the viral genome may be necessary to confirm diagnosis, determine the infecting genotype or monitor the response to antiviral therapy.
Should pregnant women get tested?
It is very important that all pregnant women do a blood test for hepatitis in early pregnancy, as the virus can be transmitted to the fetus through pregnancy, during childbirth or during breastfeeding.