What is hepatitis, what are the symptoms of hepatitis E and how could people in Scotland have contracted shellfish?
HEPATITIS causes inflammation of the liver after a viral infection.
It can get very serious, so it’s good to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms.
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a collective term for inflammation of the liver.
It can be the result of heavy drinking or a viral infection.
There are different types of the disease, caused by different viruses and treated in different ways.
What are the symptoms of hepatitis?
Short-term hepatitis often has no symptoms, so it can be difficult to determine if you have the condition.
But – after the NHS – if symptoms develop, they may include:
- Muscle aches
- feeling sick
- loss of appetite
- itchy skin
- dark urine or pale
- gray colored feces.
Long-term hepatitis can progress without symptoms until the liver fails completely, sometimes only detecting it with blood tests.
In early 2022, children began suffering with a mysterious outbreak of hepatitis, crushing dozens of children around the world.
Since March alone, 114 cases have been reported in the UK – more than double a normal annual figure.
Experts investigating the outbreak said the majority of children experienced diarrhea and nausea.
Is there a hepatitis vaccine?
There is a vaccination against hepatitis A.
This will be recorded again if you are at high risk of infection or are traveling to a country where the disease is common; the Indian subcontinent, Africa, Central and South America, the Far East and Eastern Europe.
A hepatitis B vaccine is also available in the UK and is recommended for people in high-risk groups.
High-risk groups include medical workers, people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, and children whose mothers are infected.
There is currently no vaccine against hepatitis C, D or E.
What is hepatitis E?
There are many different types of viral infection, but hepatitis E is the most common cause of short-term hepatitis in the UK today.
The virus is mainly associated with eating undercooked meat, game or shellfish.
Broadly speaking, hepatitis E is short-term and relatively mild, but it can be more serious for people with an already compromised immune system.
The different types of hepatitis explained…
- Caused by the hepatitis A virus
- Caught by consuming food or drink contaminated with the feces of an infected person
- Usually goes away within a few months
- There is no specific treatment
- Caused by the hepatitis B virus
- Spread through the blood of an infected person
- Commonly transmitted through infected needles, from pregnant women to their babies, or through unprotected sex
- Most infected adults can fight off the virus and recover within a few months
- Children can develop chronic hepatitis, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer
- It can be treated with antiviral drugs
- Caused by the hepatitis C virus
- Spread through blood-to-blood contact with an infected person
- Commonly spread through common needles
- One in four fights the infection themselves
- For others, it can remain in their system for many years
- These cases of chronic hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis and liver failure
- Caused by the hepatitis D virus
- Only affects people who already have hepatitis B
- Spread through blood-to-blood or sexual contact with an infected person
- Caused by the hepatitis E virus
- Spread mainly by eating raw meat
- Generally mild and short term
- Caused by excessive drinking
- May cause sudden jaundice and liver failure
- Usually, when you stop drinking, your body can recover
- The risk can be reduced by reducing alcohol consumption
https://www.thesun.ie/health/1425509/hepatitis-symptoms-infected-virus/ What is hepatitis, what are the symptoms of hepatitis E and how could people in Scotland have contracted shellfish?