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Signs & Symptoms of Viral Hepatitis

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Type of Virus Signs and Symptoms
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) Adults will have signs and symptoms more often than children. Child gets mild infection. Fever, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, Jaundice, diarrhoea.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) Highest attack rate among persons aged 15–40 years. Jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, dark urine, vomiting.

Hepatitis B
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B?
Infection with HBV can cause both short term (acute) and long term (chronic) disease.

Acute HBV: When symptoms occur they include loss of appetite, weakness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes,) dark urine, skin rashes, & joint pain. The incubation period is usually 45 days to 3 months. The case fatality rate is about 1 to 2 percent

Chronic HBV infection: Persons with chronic HBV infection often do not feel sick for decades after infection, but between 15 to 25 percent will die of liver cancer or cirrhosis of the liver.

What does it mean to be a Hepatitis B chronic carrier?
A Hepatitis B is chronic carrier is someone who has had Hepatitis B virus in her/his blood for more than six months. A chronic carrier usually has no signs or symptoms of Hepatitis B virus but remains infected with the virus for the years & is capable of infecting others. Sometimes Hepatitis B virus carriers spontaneously clear the infection from their bodies, but most do not.

Causative Agent of Viral Hepatitis
There are atleast six viruses which can cause viral hepatitis. These viruses are hepatitis A, B, C, D, E and G. Commonest water borne infection due to hepatitis ‘A’ & ‘E’
  • HAV is enterovirus (Type 72) of Picornaviridae family.
  • It multiplies only in Hepatocytes.
  • Viruses are shed during & after incubation period through faeces.
  • Virus is resistant to heat and chemical, survive more than 10 weeks in water & not affected by usual chlorination.
  • Formalin is stated to be an effective disinfectant.
  • Virus inactivated by ultraviolet rays boiling (5 minutes) or autoclaving.
  • Can survive in human being only.


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