How to Prevent Hepatitis

By: Michele Price Mann

In old Westerns, when a character accused another of "being yellow," it was an accusation of cowardice. In the real world, however, being yellow might be a sign you've developed a form of hepatitis -- a viral infection that attacks the liver, the important organ that aids digestion, filters the blood, and performs a host of other body processes. In this article, we will discuss hepatitis A and E, hepatitis B and D, and hepatitis C. Here's a preview:

  • Preventing Hepatitis A and EHepatitis A and hepatitis E are short-term infections that go away without treatment. Once you've had one of these infections, you cannot be infected again. Hepatitis A and E infections often have no symptoms. The viruses that cause Hepatitis A and E are found in the feces of an infected person and are often spread through poor hygiene.
  • Preventing Hepatitis B and DThe viruses that cause hepatitis B and D are spread by contact with infected blood and certain other body fluids. Like other hepatitis infections, hepatitis B and D attack the liver and can sometimes cause serious long-term damage. Chronic hepatitis can put you at risk for other diseases, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. A hepatitis B vaccination can protect you from infection.
  • Preventing Hepatitis CHCV, the virus that causes hepatitis C, is primarily spread by blood-to-blood contact. Hepatitis C is the most dangerous form of viral hepatitis and is most likely to cause chronic infection -- 55 percent to 85 percent of those infected with HCV will end up with chronic hepatitis C. However, most people who are infected with hepatitis C show no sypmtoms and thus might not know they're infected.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.