“No good deed remains unpunished and no pleasure without consequences...” An “unforgettable memory”, from a somewhat increasingly longer series that nature invented as a reward for our brief moments of erotic ecstasy, is Hepatitis.
The disease is manifested by inflammation of the liver (acute or chronic) otherwise the single unique organ in the human body. It is the only one that regenerates being able to fully recover (if left alone). Thus, it has the ability to replace its diseased cells with new ones.
Long-term complications of liver disease occur when regeneration is either incomplete or prevented by the appearance of scarred tissue. This situation occurs when aggressive agents (such as viruses, drugs, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, drugs, etc.) continue to disrupt normal activity, preventing it from the regeneration process or making it difficult.
Once the scarred tissue appeared, the reversibility of this process (regeneration) is very cumbersome.
Medicine has approved several types of Hepatitis viruses, noting them with letters (large) belonging to the Latin alphabet (most notably from A to E). Some are transmitted by fecal-oral (viruses Hepatitis A and E), others by infecting human blood or body fluids (viruses B, C, D).
HEPATITIS A. Hepatitis A is a contagious viral infection, also called “dirty hands’ disease” or “epidemic Hepatitis” (as it manifests in the form of epidemics, especially among children), caused by the pathogen Hepatitis A which is a type RNA virus (RNA=ribonucleic acid).
Its transmission is primarily gastro intestinally, by fecal-oral means.
The current ways of transmission of Hepatitis A are:
a)-ingesting infected food or water;
c)-to use of cutlery or glasses previously used by an infected person;
d)-unprotected sex (in any form, including oral or anal).
There are several groups that present a higher risk of illness:
-children in communities (nurseries, kindergartens, schools etc.).
-adults living in crowded environments or poor own hygiene;
-visitors of countries where the virus is present;
-very sexually active persons.
There are unforeseen circumstances, beyond the control of those affected, resulting in triggering natural disasters (such as tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, etc.) when drinking water can easily be contaminated.
Fortunately, infections of this kind occur more frequently in childhood, so that 80-85% of people over age 30, have already developed the necessary disease rejection antibodies (specific immunity). In other words, if you ate from the potty when you were little, not only will you get lucky (so they say...), but you will also be immune to the “flirts” of Hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A develops in several phases:
a)-general malaise, apathy, with feelings of fatigue and weakness, apparently unjustified, accompanied by nausea and vomiting (certainly you will blame a lack of holiday);
b)-high-concentration of viruses, being in the most dangerous stage (in terms of transmission), until the installation of icterus (yellowing of patients’ skin and mucosal membranes). Solar or tropical beaches have no recovery effect.
c)-spread danger subsides, except for children whose contagious period may be extended up to ten weeks. Symptoms remain and 70% of patients feel them for a period of up to 60 days, the rest having the misfortune to experience specific clinical manifestations, even during six months.
The virus dies quickly at high temperatures that exceed 85 degrees, in the normal average resisting fairly long (for several months). People who once were contaminated and subsequently cured, become immune due to antibodies that the body generates naturally.
The most exposed are those who practice unsafe sex, both the normal and the oral or anal sex. An anal sex followed by an oral one, implicitly makes the link between fecal matters (even if the rectal area was washed extensively) and direct ingestion of Hepatitis virus (found mostly in excrement). A little disgusting, right?
Groups or communities are more prepossessed to contamination, with reference in this respect being the environments in which sex is practiced currently.
There is no treatment for Hepatitis A. there are only therapies prescribed by bed rest, balanced diet and high consumption of fluids (not alcohol on which it is recommended total abstinence).
The best method of defense is vaccination against Hepatitis A. Over 99% of vaccinated people develop natural immunity against this virus and therefore, even if they will come in contact with it, they will not be affected.
HEPATITIS B. Worldwide, one in three people fall victim to Hepatitis B. Fortunately, the vaccine that can prevent contamination is available to most people.
However, many end up by getting sick and suffering from a chronic phase of the disease, due to the fact that its presence can be discovered only through blood tests (laboratory), which in general people make quite rarely.
Hepatitis B is an infectious disease, its action being acute (lasting less than 6 months) or chronic (over 6 months). In case of acute form, in most individuals (95%) their own immune system eliminates the virus from the body, with complete healing within a couple of weeks.
When the body's defense system cannot cope with the virus, the infection is installed for the rest of the life (it becomes chronic), the risk of developing hepatic insufficiency (the liver does not work properly), cirrhosis (replacement of normal liver tissue by fibrous tissue, dysfunctional) or liver cancer.
The virus is found in blood or other body fluids such as semen or vaginal secretions.
Transmission from one person to another can be done percutaneously (through infected blood transfusion, using contaminated syringes and needles, bloody maneuvers in dentistry, manicure, pedicure, piercing, tattooing, etc..), sexually (unprotected intimate contact with a bearing person) or perinatal (from mother to newborn).
Often, those contaminated by Hepatitis B would, totally justified, follow a proper treatment according to usual flu, the symptoms being absolutely similar. Unfortunately, the discovery of the existence of true disease occurs only when jaundice is placed, with its distinctive signs: yellow skin and eyes. Then nausea, vomiting, headache endless, oppressive condition of fatigue and lack of appetite appear.
Presenting to the doctor draws a series of investigations including blood tests, ultrasound tests, and if they are not eloquent, local samples will be taken for biopsy (microscopic examination of a portion of tissue or organ, in order to identify illness).
If they appear symptoms make their presence felt in a range of 45-180 days after contamination (when the disease is in its acute phase), existing thus the opportunity to intervene therapeutically with success. But if this period passes, the chronic phase occurs and the risk of tragic end (death) due to extreme complications is quite high.
Anyone can acquire the virus, but the most vulnerable people are those who show indifference in relation to their own health. Those who use drugs (using the same needles with other individuals), those who practice sex randomly (with many partners and without protection) and medical staff who work in medical offices, clinics or hospital profile and ignore the specific rules or protocols for protection.
HEPATITIS C. Hepatitis C is due to a virus transmitted through the blood, of needles used by many persons (transfusion, injecting drugs or making tattoos or body piercings in unauthorized environments).
It is also a sexually transmitted infection (where unprotected sex is practiced).
Type C virus is more active than the B one in provoking chronic disease. In the first six months of infection, acute phase occurs only and only 30% of patients present symptoms (barely) which may be associated with the disease in question. As in the case of other forms of Hepatitis, the signs of the disease can be easily confused with those of an ordinary flu. After six months, it starts to install the chronic form, which it either does not manifest more “visible”.
The treatment tends towards three versions: the first follows the healing, the second (if the first is not possible) trying to stop the disease to evolve in cancer or cirrhosis and the third target aims the vaccination in order to avoid contamination with both Hepatitis A and B, as with a number of other influenza viruses, which combined, lead to a fatal outcome.
For Hepatitis C, there is still not created a vaccine. Therefore, to avoid infestation, precautionary measures must be taken seriously. CONDOM use (regardless of sex practiced), is one of the wisest decisions in this regard. The same healthy is also applying all rules of hygiene rigorously and permanently. Last but not least, a great attention should also be paid when using medical instruments or any other items/invasive devices.
Health is too precious to each of us, not to be treated with the utmost seriousness.