While most people have heard about Hep B and C, there are three other strains, types A, D, and E, as well. Although inflammation of the liver has many causes, the main cause is getting one of these viruses. Here are the three most common types of the virus and their causes.
Hep A Virus
The main cause of this version of the disease is an infection of the Hep A virus called HAV. The infection is usually caused by drinking water or consuming food that’s contaminated by the feces of someone with the virus. There can be outbreaks of hepatitis in Allentown, PA and other places in the world through contact with an infected person or his or her bodily fluids.
Hep B Virus
This form of hepatitis is familiar to most people. Hep B, or HBV, is usually caused by transmission through bodily fluids such as blood, vaginal secretions, or semen during sexual intercourse. Sharing needles or razors with an infected person can also spread the virus. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.2 million people in the United States and 350 million around the world are infected with HBV.
Hep C Virus
This form of the disease is one with which most people are familiar. Hep C, or HCV, is usually transmitted through sexual contact or sharing needles with infected people. It is one of the most common forms of blood-borne viruses in the U.S. with up 3.9 million people living with it. Fortunately, these viruses can be treated to prevent liver damage, cirrhosis, or cancer. Click here to learn more about treatments.
The health of people treated for hepatitis can improve, but the best treatment is to avoid getting the virus by taking precautions. If you inject drugs, don’t share needles; wear condoms during sex, and only drink fresh water and eat fresh foods.