There are 3 kinds of hepatitis. While all types of hepatitis impact the liver, hepatitis A, B, and C are all very different from each other. In hepatitis A, most people recover in a couple of months and it rarely causes complications. In hepatitis B, it takes longer to recover, often around 6 months. It's possible to spread hepatitis B to others, even if there are no symptoms. In hepatitis C, many people end up with a long-term infection, which can be serious and could even lead to cirrhosis.
Hepatitis is transmitted in different ways based on the type. Hepatitis A can be transmitted when a person eats or drinks something that contains the hepatitis virus. In hepatitis B, transmission can happen in several ways including having sexual contact with an infected person, sharing used drug needles, or coming into contact with bodily fluids of a person infected with hepatitis B. Pregnant women who have hepatitis B can pass hepatitis to their babies. If a child is born with hepatitis B, treatment must be administered shortly after birth. In hepatitis C, the disease is most often transmitted by shared needles. Although not as common, hepatitis C can also be transmitted via sexual contact with an infected person.
Regardless of the type of hepatitis, the symptoms of the disease can include:
In the case of hepatitis B, achy joints may also occur.
There isn't a treatment for hepatitis A, but the illness usually runs its course within a few months. With hepatitis B and C, drug therapy is often used. Drugs used to treat hepatitis B can include Interferon, Adefovir, and Lamivudine. Drugs used to treat hepatitis C include a combination of peginterferon alpha and ribavirin. Other options for treatment can include Boceprevir, Simeprevir, and Telaprevir.
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