Viral hepatitis A, B, C, D and E: how to be tested and what to do next?

Hepatitis is a disease of the liver, usually of viral origin. It develops due to hepatitis virus. There are five main types: A, B, C, D and E. All types of viruses cause liver disease, but there is a significant difference between them.

Hepatitis A and E are transmitted by fecal-oral route, during the consumption of infected food or water. And hepatitis B, C, D - through damaged skin or mucous membranes during contact. In particular, it can occur during blood transfusions, medical manipulations, mother-to-child transmission, sexual intercourse, injecting or intranasal or domestic use (eg when a person uses a razor blade or toothbrush after an infected person ).

To protect against hepatitis, it is important to follow the same prevention as for other viral diseases: wash your hands, eat washed and/or cooked foods, have personal hygiene products, use barrier contraception, and so on.

Among viral hepatitis, the most dangerous are viral hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), which account for 96% of all viral hepatitis-related deaths. That is why preventive measures are important. These include testing.

Periodic testing for viral hepatitis should be the rule. First of all, you should contact a family doctor, who can conduct a quick test and in case of a positive result refer you to a specialist.

The best and most effective way to prevent hepatitis B virus infection is to vaccinate with three doses of the vaccine. Hepatitis B vaccination is included in the National Vaccination Calendar. According to the National Vaccination Calendar, a child should receive the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine during the first day of life, the second at 2 months, and the third at 6 months.

Because viral hepatitis D develops only in patients with viral hepatitis B, triple vaccination also prevents the risk of becoming infected with viral hepatitis D.

There is no vaccine against hepatitis C.

This year, the Ministry of Health has adopted new Standards for the care of adults and children with viral hepatitis B and C. They will significantly expand patients' access to treatment for these infections. Specific treatment of viral hepatitis A and D does not exist, but it is important that they are curable. Treatment of viral hepatitis B for life - a person takes antiviral drugs daily. Timely and regular medication suppresses and inhibits the development of the virus and prevents the development of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis C is usually treated within 12 weeks (sometimes the course of treatment can last up to 24 weeks). Modern drugs are safe and effective, cause almost no side effects and have an efficiency of about 90%.

In Ukraine, effective drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C virus are purchased at the expense of the state budget.

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