April 9, 2010
Classifications of the Hepatitis Virus
Viral hepatitis is liver inflammation due to a viral infection. There are 5 types of viral hepatitis; A, B, C, D, and E. They can be contracted from viruses of their respective names or a resulting affect of other viruses such as Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and Yellow Fever.
Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is transmitted by fecal-oral contamination, usually by the ingestions of contaminated. HAV is not a serious infection the immune system makes antibodies against HAV that give immunity against future infection. HAV can be spread through personal contact, consumption of raw sea food or drinking contaminated water. It is a greater risk in third world countries where strict personal hygiene and living standards are almost non existent.
Hepatitis B is caused by the HBV virus that causes both acute and chronic hepatitis. Methods of transmission include blood transfusions, tattoos, sexual intercourse, or breast feeding. The source of infection is hard to determine as the virus may be spread by the simple activity of sharing a razor. Natural antibodies that combat hepatitis B are not enough to eliminate the viral infection. Vaccines are available intended to prevent HBV for life.
Hepatitis C is caused by the HCV virus. HCV can be transmitted through contact with blood, including through sexual contact if the two parties' blood is mixed. HCV usually leads to chronic hepatitis and turning into cirrhosis in others. It usually shows no symptoms of the disease for decades. Hepatitis C is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States.
The hepatitis D virus or hepatitis delta agent is similar to a viroid as it can only multiply in the presence of the hepatitis B virus.
The hepatitis E virus produces symptoms similar to hepatitis A, although it can take a rapid course in some patients,...