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Hepatitis (TYPES) General Information

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Hep C Vets

Hepatitis A:

Is a hepatitis that is seen in the general population and occurs because of poor hygiene. Examples of this are hepatitis resulting from contaminated water, poor hand washing etc. Hepatitis A is excreted in feces and; is therefore the most common cause of food or water borne hepatitis epidemics investigated by health department.

This hepatitis does not develop into a chronic condition causing cirrhosis or liver cancer. It is rare,(1/1000) that organ failure occurs resulting in the need for transplant.

The majority of the population recover and are then have developed immunity to reinfection. Symptoms: low grade fever muscle and joint aches headache, a general malaise (sense of not feeling well) poor appetite and abdominal pain this may be followed by jaundice a yellowing of the eyes and skin.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is spread through the following portals of entry: Blood innoculation (needle stick accidents) transfusion of blood or blood products, Hemodialysis, cardiac bypass surgery, IVDU and transmission (maternal/infant at delivery) and sexual contact. In the adult community 90- 95% will recover and maintain lifetime immunity It is rare but liver failure has occurred from acute severe hepatitis B. The remaining 5 to 10% do not clear the virus and may develop chronic hepatitis which can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer They may also become carriers of this virus. Hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and Hep B vaccine post delivery is now available for infants exposed to hepatitis B from mothers who are (Hep B+) this prevents transmission in approx 95% of all cases Michigan tests all pregnant mothers prior to delivery for Hep B and it is most likely practiced in all states ASK if you are pregnant and Hep B+ or believe you may have been exposed to Hep B to be sure

Chronic sufferers of Hep B may complain of chronic fatigue, poor energy reserves and occurances of jaundice.
Some tx modes currently in use are Interferon alfa and lamivudine. Other antivirals include alobucavir ganciclovir and famciclovir. Seem to be useful . Seldom if ever does reinfection occur in the liver of those Hep B patients who have had liver transplants . It may occur in those who have had transplants for chronic Hepatitis but the use of antivirals has lessened this occurance.

Hepatitis C:

Hep C is transmitted by blood or blood products It is sometimes (I think rarely, as I was married for 30 years while I was Hep C+ and my spouse tested negative during that time.) transmitted during sexual contact, and infrequently passed from a mother to her newborn..

I personally believe though that your partner should test at intervals as a matter of prudence . Should transmission occur your partner could begin TX early on with little risk of the complications of long term disease. I never realized I had Hep C until I had already progressed to fibrosis and cirrhosis. Tx consists of the use of Interferon or the combi drug Interferon and Ribovarin know as Rebetron therapy. I have tried both.

Pegylated Interferon has been approved for use as a HepC therapy by the FDA. Since I only sero-reverted for less then six months with Rebetron therapy. I am seriously considering doing this therapy in the near future.

I DO NOT KNOW THE LATEST INFORMATIOM ON THE FOLLOWING There are newer drugs being investigated at this time Thymosin, will be investigated in upcoming drug studies whether those studies of Thymosin will be conducted as a stand alone drug or as a combination Has not been determined as far as Iam aware.

Protease inhibitors are another potential treatment regeime. ( a protease is an enzyme that breaks down larger proteins into smaller proteins necessary for formation of viral particles.) Some of these enzymes have been identified. Inhibitors have the potential of interrupting HCV virus replication. There are a number of firms working on the development of inhibitors specific to those that have been identified.

I was told by a veteran he was being refused treatment as it was ineffective...anyone who is denied treatment needs to question the decision and ask what information the decision was based on. Each individual needs to be given the reason for denial of treatment in view of the success they have.

Update: The VA now has the goal of testing veterans actively for Hep C, If you have not been asked to test - ask them!

It important to be aware of to be aware of the following..

It is important to note that the available treatment has some unpleasant side effects one of which is depression and therefore it is not recommended for use in those who have a history of depression. **This attitude has gotten better so actively seek treatment if you need it**. Each individual facility must decide on whether to go ahead and treat a Hep C+ patient if there is a hx of depression. This decision has much to do with what support can be offered to the individual and at what place in the progression of disease the patient is at. Remember, it is a subjective decision, each practioner must made an educated decision as to whether they will traet or not based on all risks and disease progression. Treatment has been offered to those who have that history so it does not rule you out unless you are in or near failure and they would consider a transplant workup if indicated.

There have been suicides associated with this treatment. It is unclear whether it is from the drugs or from destroyed virus circulation in the blood or sme of each of the aforementioned reasons or perhaps another reason entirely. You need to discuss this with your physician in depth if you are in this category.

Hepatitis D:

Delta virus is an incomplete virus and needs the HepB virus to complete its cycle The risk factors are the same as HepB This viral infection is only seen in patients with is only seen in patients with Hep B. It increases the chance of Hep B patients have other complications such as sudden and severe attack of hepatitis. It increases the chance of developing chronic active hepatitis and it associated cirrhosis

Hepatitis E:

Is similar to Hep A but seems to have originated outside of the US. Those with this type of Hepatitis do not seem to become chronic carriers and it is not associated with liver cancer This hepatitis is very detrimental if a pregnant woman becomes infected and can result in mother/infant mortality.

It is current felt that other types of hepatitis exist but do not test + for the A-E hepatitis types. It is thought these can cause varying types of hepatitis from acute to chronic and may even cause liver failure.
Hepatitis G:

Is similar to Hep C they are in the same family of viruses This separate type of Hepatitis virus has been found in Hep C patients in a small to moderate number but there is no research that shows this to be a cause of developing chronic active hepatitis.

I suggest you seek some of the other sites that are more up to date as I can no longer keep this page current nor do I expect to be able to do so in the near future. I expect to be in therapy again soon. Please take care an send good wishes my way as I do to all who come to this page.
Sandra Thank you for visiting my page at Angelfire. Please come back and visit again!