What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the liver that can lead to liver damage and malfunction. Viral Hepatitis is the most common and includes Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis A is transmitted by from the feces or saliva of an infected person by infected water, food and equipment.

Hepatitis B is transmitted by infected blood products, needles, dental / surgical equipment and through sexual intercourse. Hepatitis C is transmitted by infected blood, blood products and / or sexual activity. Hepatitis D is transmitted via the same routs as Hep B and cannot be the only infection present – it is a dual infection. Hepatitis E is transmitted by stool to oral method.

There are presently vaccinations for Hepatitis A, B and E. Good hand washing (especially after toilet usage), good personal and environmental hygiene, safe sex practices, and the use of standard precautions (gown and gloves when needed) can reduce your risk of Hepatitis. If you are exposed to hepatitis, report immediately, as you may receive medications to decrease your risk.