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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.

Hepatitis is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation

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Hepatitis is a viral infection that causes liver inflammationPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

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
  • Fever
  • fatigue
  • 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…

Hepatitis A

  • 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

Hepatitis B

  • 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

Hepatitis C

  • 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

Hepatitis D

  • 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

Hepatitis E

  • Caused by the hepatitis E virus
  • Spread mainly by eating raw meat
  • Generally mild and short term

Alcoholic hepatitis

  • 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?

Fry Electronics Team

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