Acute Hepatitis Viruses

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Acute Hepatitis Virus                                        Acute  Hepatitis A  and  Hepatitis B

Acute Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. The disease causes the liver to become tender and swollen with bilirubin. This is a substance produced when the liver breaks down and the aged blood cells accumulate in the blood stream. The virus will be present in blood and bowel movements two to three weeks before the symptoms appear. And will also, remain for two to three weeks after the symptoms appear.
During this period, the virus can infect anyone who comes in contact with body fluids of an infected person, such as blood and feces.
Symptoms:
Jaundice (yellowish color of skin pigmentation and the whites of the eyes) weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, brownish or tea-colored urine, abdominal discomfort with pain, and whitish bowel movements. The symptoms and nature of the illness depends on the condition of the individual’s health. The symptoms gradually disappear normally after four to six weeks.

Treatment:
Consult a physician who will have blood test done, to monitor the virus and will give instructions on protecting members in the household. An injection of the Hepatitis A vaccine can be used to prevent contracting the virus.

Preventing the Spread of Hepatitis A
Do not touch the items of an infected person, Use gloves when cleaning and or handling all items worn by an infected person, flush toilets immediately, keep all dishes and silverware, glasses and such that are used by the infected person sterilized. Good hand washing with an antibacterial agent and using a germ killing agent for household cleaning are recommended. The infected individual ,should avoid sexual contact with others to prevent the spread of the virus.
Clean the Laundry and Dishes of an Infected Person Separate
The person that is infected with the hepatitis virus, should eat nutritious meals, avoid dehydration, get plenty of rest and avoid the consumption of alcohol that could harm the liver, by weakening it.
The individual with Hepatitis A, will have it in their immune system to protect them from contracting the virus again.

Hepatitis B
Symptoms are jaundice, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, brownish colored urine, abdominal pain, whitish bowel movement

The Cause of Hepatitis B
The cause of Hepatitis B is due to a virus that infects the liver. The blood of an infected person is highly contagious dried or fresh, four to six weeks before the symptoms are revealed.

Risk Factor:
The risk for developing some form of chronic liver disease is possible in some individuals. The sources for contacting Hepatitis B infection are needle punctures from acupuncture, tattooing and injections of drugs; blood transfusions; and sexual contact. The Hepatitis B virus can spread through contact with saliva, nasals mucus, sperm, and menstrual blood.

Treatment:
Bed rest, proper nourishment, restrict alcohol intake, drink adequate amounts of water to avoid dehydration, blood tests are needed to monitor the disease. Good hand washing and using gloves to clean the household thoroughly with a germ cleaning agent, and taking special care to sterilize dishes and such things that are used in daily family meals are necessary. Keeping the bathroom clean is a priority. The infected individual should avoid sexual contact with others to prevent the spread of the virus. Clean the Laundry and Dishes of an Infected Person Separate
Professional help is recommended to prevent the spread of the disease from those who come in close contact with an infected person living in the same household. A physician can inject members of the household with the Hepatitis B vaccine.

* Acute means a sudden onset

__ Ellen J. Barrier

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