Understanding Hepatitis A and B

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 07, 2014

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Quick Bites

  • Both hepatitis A and B affect the functioning of liver.
  • Hepatitis A is caused by bacteria attack.
  • Hepatitis B also called serum hepatitis is caused by a virus attack.
  • Always save yourself from infected blood to avoid the disease.

Hepatitis can be classified into two types: type A and type B. The disease is mostly caused by virus, attack, however, the bacteria causing both the types are different. At times, the disease may also occur due to ill effects of drugs on the body. Hepatitis caused by the attack of bacteria can prove to be fatal therefore serious precautionary measures are advisable.

Hepatitis A

A bacteria attack causes hepatitis A which is also known as viral hepatitis. The bacteria attack the liver causing the organ to swell. When the liver starts malfunctioning, it loses its ability to purify the blood. It can no longer filter the blood to separate the bilirubin content from it. Although hepatitis A is considered to be the least dangerous of all the types yet it remains a harmful disease due to his contagious nature. An infected person if comes in contact with a healthy person, there are very slim chances of the healthy person to stay unaffected.

How is it Caused?

When a healthy person is transfused with infected blood, he is put at a risk of catching the virus. Use of infected syringes also can also make a person vulnerable to the disease. Consuming Shellfish can also cause the disease.


Understanding Hepatitis

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

The symptoms of hepatitis A are similar to that of Polio:
•    Fever
•    Shivering
•    Loss of Appetite
•    Vomiting
•    Body ache
•    For smokers, developing a dislike towards cigarettes
•    At later stages of the disease, knees begin to ache and feet become swollen


•    Take vaccines for hepatitis A prevention and take care of your hygiene
•    Stay away from contaminated food and water
•    Wash hands each time you use a washroom
•    If you come in contact with an infected person’s blood or body liquids make sure to clean yourself properly.
•    Wash your hands before and after changing clothes
•    Clean your hands before serving food


Understanding Hepatitis

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B, which is also known as serum hepatitis, is mainly caused by a virus attack. This type can mostly be found in drug addicts and in people who have physical relations with more than one partner. This disease spreads like an epidemic in people who indulge themselves in unnatural sex. Due to these factors, hepatitis B is considered to be more dangerous than hepatitis A. As a result of this disease, many people suffer from cirrhosis of liver.

Symptoms of Hepatitis B

•    Eyes and skin become pale
•    Color of urine turns dark
•    Fatigue
•    Vomiting and stomach ache

Irrespective of its type, hepatitis can prove to be harmful for the functioning of your liver. If not cured in time, hepatitis can prove deadly in some cases or can send the patient in the state of coma.


Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more on Hepatitis.


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