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HepA is not HepB is not HepC

Discussion in 'HEP C HIV' started by gk, Jan 31, 2004.

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  1. gk

    gk Well-Known Member

    So what is HEPATITIS?

    It is a Latin word that means "inflammation of the liver".

    There are a number of diseases that will inflame the liver. They are ALL called Hepatitis, and assigned a letter of the alphabet, to differentiate them.


    ... is the oldest known liver disease. It is a short-lived illness (6 weeks or so, of a severe flu-like illness) and you get it from fecally-contaminated food and water. Though it makes you feel like a dog, you usually get over it, and are subsequently immune to it for life. But, while you are sick, it is EXTREMELY contagious!


    ...is a virus that infects your liver. 85 to 90% of people manage to clear it out of their system. But 10-15% become chronicly Hep B infected. They are ALWAYS capable of infecting others. They will possibly develop serious liver disease, cirrhosis, cancer and possible death. This virus is VERY EASY to catch! BUT, there is a VACCINE for this virus, given in three doses over the space of 6 months. Also, anyone who has had sex with a person with Hep B needs to get injections of immune globulin within 2 weeks, for short-term immunity.


    ... is EPIDEMIC right now. There is no vaccine, and no cure. But there is much hopeful research going on, and new drugs almost ready to be allowed onto the market. None of them "cure" Hep C, but many people CAN go "into remission" with these drugs. We will be dealing extensively with Hep C info, elsewhere in this forum.


    ...is an INCOMPLETE virus, that requires Hep B for replication, because it's RNA is covered by an outercoat of Hep B surface antigen. So, you cannot get Hep D, unless you already have Hep B!!! So far in North America, it is still uncommon, but the numbers are rising. Those NOW infected are usually intravenous drug users, hemophiliacs and their sexual partners. Hep B CO-INFECTION means you acquired BOTH viruses at the same time. Hep B SUPERINFECTION means you got Hep D, long after Hep B established itself in your body. With superinfection, you get a rapidly progressive chronic hepatitis.


    ...also a viral hepatitis, spread by fecally-contaminated water. It is endemic in developing countries, but almost unheard of in North America, except in travellers returning from countries with epidemics. This virus KILLS pregnant women! No vaccine is available.


    ...This is a new virus, found in 1995 and 1996. Scientists are still wrestling with what it is. One to two percent of U.S. blood donors have it! At the moment, they think it is a variant of Hepatitis C, since Hep C is a virus that mutates to avoid human immune systems. It doesn't SEEM very dangerous so far, as it does not seem to cause serious liver damage, nor accelerate the course of Hep C. But scientists are still studying it, and watching the progress of people with Hep G.


    ...This is another virus that has been identified in a HIGH percentage of blood donors (up to 40%). It seems to cause liver symptoms similar to Hep C, but it has been so recently discovered, scientists are still not even sure if it is a Hepatitis, a variant of Hep C, an emerging infectious disease, or something else entirely.


    BE VERY AWARE OF WHICH HEPATITIS YOU NEED TO BE RESEARCHING, AND KEEP CLEAR IN YOUR HEAD WHICH ONE YOU ARE TRYING TO DEAL WITH! For each hepatitis is as unique from the others, as say, intestinal flu is from intestinal cancer. The only thing they all have in common is they all afflict your liver!
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