In modern society when a person gets sick with the flu or a cold they
will usually go about their normal routine with the exception of a sneeze or a
cough throughout the day. Sometimes things can be more than what they appear to
be. The symptoms start out like the flu with coughing, fever, aches, and
vomiting. However, the disease gradually worsens with symptoms of extreme
weakness and excrushatating abdominal pain. By then it is usually too late when
the person finds out that their liver is failing and that there disease is
caused by one of the most contagious, dangerous and deadliest of viruses.
These viruses that were initially concealed by flu like symptoms are now known
collectively as the disease of Hepatitis. The disease of Hepatitis is actually
by six different types of viral infections, namely, Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, and
G. Hepatitis descries the destructive affect of the viral invasion of the body
and liver by six and separate viruses. Each type of viral infection varies from
one to another in degree of severity. The names of the viruses are in
alphabetical order corresponding to their discovery. There is also a non-viral
Hepatitis which is caused by substance. One rumor that has spread about
hepatitis is that a person can only contract Hepatitis if associated with HIV or
AIDS. This is not true! Any one can become infected with Hepatitis.
Unfortunately this is about all most people know of Hepatitis. They need to
know the full horror of which the virus is capable.
The first of the Hepatitis viral infection to be discovered is Hepatitis
A. Hep. A is the mild mannered virus compared to the other viruses. It has the
symptoms of influenza, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and weakening of body,
but it does have some differences such as jaundice (a yellowing pigmentation of
the skin and whites of the eyes) and urine appears to be a darker color.
Jaundice is caused by an abundance of bilirubon which has not been removed from
the blood system due to the infected liver. Hep. A does not have any special
medications or antibiotics that can be used to treat or prevent this unpleasant
virus. Some ways of avoiding this viral infection include washing the hands
very carefully and not eating food or drink of others. People living in the
same house or having close contact should clean the area very thoroughly. When
a person has contracted and then recovered from this virus, he or she is now
immune for the remainder of his or her life and will not carry the virus.
The virus can affect anyone, but young children and older adults are more
susceptible. People can transmit the virus directly to each other or
indirectly by ingesting an infected persons food or drink. Then the person will
ingest the contaminated food or drink. The disease can also be spread by
contaminated drinking water, blood, body fluids and tissue, and intravenous
needles used by drug users. The virus is contagious for a week before symptoms
are experienced and continuing until recovery from the jaundice symptom
(Hepatitis A 1996 pg. 1).
The purpose of a persons liver is to filter out harmful toxins that get
into the blood. An example of the function of the liver is similar to the use
of a noodle strainer. The noodles are mixed with the water like the toxin
mixed with the blood. The strainer removes the noodles from the water like the
liver removes the toxin from the blood. The noodles stay in, but the water goes
through. If a person were not to have a liver or it isn\'t functioning in the
proper manner the person would suffer extreme blood poisoning and die.
Hepatitis B can result in such malfunction of the liver.
Hep. B causes the liver to become inflamed. Usually the people that get
infected with Hep. B can fight off the virus, but there are some individuals
that are unable to fight. This would include people infected with HIV or AIDS.
The symptoms of Hep. B are very similar to Hep. A, loss of appetite, nausea and
vomiting, fever, weakness of body which may last up to several weeks even months,
abdominal pain, darkening of urine, and jaundice (American Liver Foundation June
1993 pg. 2).
The only vaccine that is used on Hep. B is called Saccharomyces
cerevesia (common bakers\' yeast) (Hepatitis B 1992 pg. 4).
There is still the old home remedy of lots of bed rest, but left
untreated can result in cirrhosis or even liver cancer. Cirrhosis is a disease
caused by a