Viral hepatitis refers to an infection that causes inflammation of the liver. It is caused by certain viruses, including hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Each type of viral hepatitis has different modes of transmission and can lead to varying levels of severity.

Hepatitis A and E are usually transmitted through contaminated food and water, while hepatitis B, C, and D are most commonly transmitted through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. The severity of hepatitis can range from mild illness to chronic liver disease, and in some cases, it can be life-threatening.

Common symptoms of viral hepatitis include fatigue (tiredness), jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and dark urine. However, some people may not experience any symptoms, especially in the early stages of the infection.

If viral hepatitis is suspected, it is important to see a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.  

Blood tests are usually performed to determine the type of hepatitis virus and assess the condition of the liver.

Treatment for viral hepatitis depends on the type and severity of the infection. In some cases, supportive care, such as rest, hydration, and proper nutrition, may be sufficient. For chronic hepatitis B and C, antiviral medications may be prescribed to manage the infection and reduce the risk of liver damage.

Prevention is crucial in combating viral hepatitis. Vaccinations are available for hepatitis A and B, and it is recommended that those who are at risk get vaccinated. Other preventive measures include practicing good hygiene, practicing safe sex, avoiding sharing needles or other drug paraphernalia, and being cautious when traveling to areas with higher hepatitis prevalence.

Composed by Dr. Yeibake Weriwoyingipre Silver.

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