Chronic Viral Hepatitis: Questions & Answers Part 2

Why does hepatitis become chronic?

This depends on the characteristics of the body and the strength of the immune system. It also depends on the amount of virus that got entered the body. When the immune system cannot cope with the infection, hepatitis becomes chronic. That is permanent.

What are the symptoms of chronic hepatitis?

Chronic hepatitis has no specific symptoms. You can have chronic viral hepatitis for years and not know it.

So, it is important to take tests regular.

What are extrahepatic symptoms?

As a result of chronic hepatitis, not only the liver suffers but also other organs. Most often — kidneys and skin, fewer often muscles, heart, and nerve tissue.

Extrahepatic symptoms appear quite rarely. They attract more attention, as they affect the quality of life. Unfortunately, their true cause – chronic viral hepatitis can remain out of sight. It is even without treatment.

How often should I be tested for hepatitis?

Since chronic viral hepatitis occurs with almost no symptoms. Like many diseases, hepatitis has a so-called “incubation period”. So, you need to check not immediately after a dangerous event, but several weeks later.

What is the incubation period?

The incubation period is the time when the infection is already present in the body. But the body has not yet reacted to it in any way. During the incubation period, not only are there no specific symptoms of the disease. It is in an infected person, but even standard indicators for HBsAg have not yet got determined.

The incubation period of various hepatitis lasts from 2 weeks to six months.

Is it possible to detect hepatitis during the incubation period?

Yes. There are tests that detect the presence of the virus in the blood. RNA of the hepatitis C virus and DNA of the hepatitis B virus. But, in polyclinics and women’s clinics, patients do get referred for standard tests. It includes the CHI: HBsAg and anti-HCV, which appear in the blood later than the virus itself.

What is co-infection?

Co-infection is when a person suffers from several diseases at once. For example, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, hepatitis C and HIV infection, and so on.

As a rule, simultaneous infection with several viral diseases makes the course severe. It complicates the treatment of both. Thus, a person with hepatitis B has a higher risk of consequences for the liver. It is in combination with hepatitis C.

How are hepatitis B and C transmitted?

Hepatitis B and C viruses do get found in the blood and body fluids of a sick person. Infection occurs as a result of infected blood or various body fluids. Such fluids by entering the bloodstream of a healthy person.

How can I get hepatitis?

The higher the risk of infection, the more infection enters the body. The greater danger is contact with contaminated blood, which contains the most copies. Such copies are of the virus. This can occur when unverified blood or its products get transfused. It is as well as manipulations involving skin damage, non-sterile or treated instruments.

The following events are dangerous:

– surgery, especially emergency operations involving the transfusion of unverified blood. This risk gets minimized due to the use of disposable instruments. It can also go lower with improved sterilization methods. And, all the donated blood gets tested for hepatitis B and C viruses before transfusion. It is in the patient it will get transfused.

– dental manipulations;

– damage during manicure in salons;

– tattooing or piercing;

– gastro-or colonoscopy;

– use for injection of a syringe that someone used before you. It is the most dangerous intravenous infection;

– sexual contact without using a condom.

Hepatitis is not transmitted:

– when shaking hands,

– hugs,

– kisses,

– through dishes,

– when preparing food,

– when bitten by pets and insects.

Do I need to tell my family and friends about my illness?

Of course, a lot depends on the situation within the family, but in most cases, it is better to say. First, there is a small chance of infecting someone close to you with viral hepatitis.

Someone close to you may already be ill and not know about it. Under some circumstances, treatment for hepatitis can be quite difficult. You cannot do without the help and support of your loved ones.

If you doubt that the news about hepatitis will get perceived by your loved ones. Try to at least follow the rules that allow you to lower the risk of infection. It is of your loved ones.

Can I infect my family and friends?

The probability of infection in everyday life is low, but it is there. They are manicures, shaving, brushing teeth, tattooing, piercing, and injections. Contaminated blood left on the instrument can get into the blood of a healthy family member. And, it leads to infection.

You can also get infected with viral hepatitis during unprotected sex. Especially when there is inflammation and damage to the partners ‘ genitals.

What should I do to avoid infecting anyone?

Remove all possibilities of getting infected blood into the body of a healthy member. It is to get your own razor, toothbrush, nail scissors, tongs, etc.

Using a condom removes the possibility of contracting viral hepatitis during sexual contact.

It is also important to vaccinate all family members against hepatitis B.

It will completely remove the infection with this disease.

Can I cook for my family? What if I cut myself while cooking?

You can cook for the family.

It is unlikely that your family members will be able to get infected. It is when even if you cut yourself during this process and a drop of blood gets into your food. The enzymes of their digestive system will destroy the virus.

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Chronic Viral Hepatitis: Questions & Answers Part 3