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Hepatitis - Essay Example

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Hepatitis is an injury found in the liver characterised by presence of inflammatory cells in the liver tissue. The word hepatitis came from the Greek word hepato- meaning ' liver' and -itis meaning 'inflammation'. This condition can be self limiting which means healing on its own or can progress to scarring of liver…
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Download file to see previous pages... This group of viruses known as the hepatitis viruses are responsible to most liver damages worldwide ("Hepatitis").
This paper discuss the three types of viral hepatitis focusing on the etiology or the cause of the disease, epidemiology, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, mode of transmission, persons at risk, prevention and treatment of hepatitis.
In children, the most common form of hepatitis is hepatitis A also known as infectious hepatitis. This form is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV) or picornavirus, an enteric ("Hepatitis", PHAC a) non-enveloped virus came from Picornoviridae family, which lives in the stools of infected individuals (Gavin).
Hepatitis A accounts for up to 35% of all cases of acute viral hepatitis in developed countries (Stellato). Outbreaks are usually traced to poor sanitary conditions such as failing to wash hands after toilet breaks. ("Hepatitis A", Frymoyer). In underdeveloped countries, hepatitis A virus (HAV) is endemic, and nearly 90% of these adults demonstrate immunity to HAV from childhood exposure (Stellato).
Hepatitis A has an incubation period of 10 to 50 days. This is the time from the exposure to the HAV until the onset of the disease. The duration of the disease is typically two to three weeks, but it can last up to one to two months (Main a).
The signs and symptoms of hepatitis A may range from mild to severe. ...
The disease is rarely fatal and most people recover in a few weeks without any complications. Adults have signs and symptoms of illness more often than children. Infants and young children tend to have very mild symptoms and are less likely to develop jaundice than are older children and adults. Not everyone who is infected will have all of the symptoms (New York State Department of Health a).
The symptoms commonly appear within 28 days of exposure, with a range of 15-50 days, (New York State Department of Health a) and approximately 15% of sufferers may experience relapsing symptoms from six months to a year following initial diagnosis ("Hepatitis").
Hepatitis A is diagnosed by finding IgM-class anti-HAV in serum collected during the acute phase of disease (FDA). After several months, the IgM anti-HAV titer decreases, while the IgG anti-HAV rises and persists indefinitely (Linnen, Stellato). This is demonstrated by the patient's immune system that makes antibodies against hepatitis A confer immunity against future infection. This explains why Hepatitis A appears as an acute form of hepatitis and does not have a chronic stage ("Hepatitis A").
Mode of Transmission
Hepatitis A virus is usually spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A (New York State Department of Health a). This type of transmission is called the "fecal-oral" route ("Hepatitis"). This route is demonstrated when a person with hepatitis A prepares food after using the bathroom and touched the food rendering it contaminated with HAV (NWHIC). For this reason, the virus is more easily spread in areas where poor sanitary ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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