Types of Hepatitis

Types of Hepatitis: Hepatitis A, B, C

Hepatitis A, B, and C are three of the main types of hepatitis out of the total five. Each type of hepatitis is caused by a different virus, and each one can have different signs and symptoms.

Hepatitis A

This type of hepatitis can be caused by eating or drinking something infected with the virus HAV. It can also be contracted by anal-oral contact during sex. Type A will cause inflammation and swelling in the liver but it doesn’t cause a life long or chronic disease. Anyone who is infected with hepatitis A can have a full recovery.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B happens when the body is subjected to the HBV virus. It can be spread through the contact of an infected person’s semen, blood, or other body fluid. It is considered to be a sexually transmitted disease. Hepatitis B can be contracted by having unprotected sex with a person who is infected. It can also come from needle sharing, such as the use of needles with illegal drugs like heroin, or legal drugs like steroids. Getting a body piercing or tattoo with unsterile needles or tools that have been used on another person can also spread hepatitis B. An infected mother can give hepatitis B to her baby through breast milk. Hepatitis can cause liver damage, and can sometimes result in cancer. Some people are not able to get rid of the virus and do have it as a life long problem.

Hepatitis C

This type of hepatitis is caused by the virus HCV. It can be spread the same ways as hepatitis B, through contact with bodily fluids. Hepatitis C also causes swelling of the liver that can lead to permanent damage and possibly even cancer. Most people who contract hepatitis C develop it as a chronic infection. It can lead to scarring of the liver as well. Blood banks test for hepatitis C to reduce the risk of it spreading during transfusions.

If you think you have any signs or symptoms of any of the types of hepatitis, or have come into contact with someone infected, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor.