Hepatits A & C causes?

What are the causes of Hepatits A & C? Can a wife/husband catch it from them? Which is worse, A or C?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hepatitis A does not have a chronic stage and does not cause permanent liver damage. Following infection, the immune system makes antibodies against the hepatitis A virus that confer immunity against future infection. The disease can be prevented by vaccination and hepatitis A vaccine has been proved effective in controlling outbreaks worldwide. The virus spreads by the fecal-oral route and infections often occur in conditions of poor sanitation and overcrowding. Hepatitis A can be transmitted by the parenteral route but very rarely by blood and blood products. Food-borne outbreaks are not uncommon, and ingestion of shellfish cultivated in polluted water is associated with a high risk of infection.

    The most widespread hepatitis A outbreak in America afflicted at least 640 people (killing four) in north-eastern Ohio and south-western Pennsylvania in late 2003. The outbreak was blamed on tainted green onions at a restaurant in Monaca, Pennsylvania.[

    So basically, Hep A is brought on by eating something contaminated - it isn't likely a husband or wife will transmit to the other.

    Onto Hep C:

    Hepatitis C is a blood-borne infectious disease that is caused by Hepatitis C virus (HCV), infecting the liver.[1] The infection can cause liver inflammation (hepatitis) that is often asymptomatic, but ensuing chronic hepatitis can result later in cirrhosis (fibrotic scarring of the liver) and liver cancer.

    The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread by blood-to-blood contact. No vaccine against hepatitis C is available. The symptoms of infection can be medically managed, and a proportion of patients can be cleared of the virus by a long course of anti-viral medicines. Although early medical intervention is helpful, people with HCV infection often experience mild symptoms, and consequently do not seek treatment. An estimated 150-200 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C.

    Acute hepatitis C refers to the first 6 months after infection with HCV. Between 60% to 70% of people infected develop no symptoms during the acute phase. In the minority of patients who experience acute phase symptoms, they are generally mild and nonspecific, and rarely lead to a specific diagnosis of hepatitis C. Symptoms of acute hepatitis C infection include decreased appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, itching, and flu-like symptoms.

    The hepatitis C virus is usually detectable in the blood within one to three weeks after infection, and antibodies to the virus are generally detectable within 3 to 12 weeks. Approximately 15-40% of persons infected with HCV clear the virus from their bodies during the acute phase as shown by normalization in liver function tests (LFTs) such as alanine transaminase (ALT) & aspartate transaminase (AST) normalization, as well as plasma HCV-RNA clearance (this is known as spontaneous viral clearance). The remaining 60-85% of patients infected with HCV develop chronic hepatitis C, i.e., infection lasting more than 6 months.

    The natural course of chronic hepatitis C varies considerably from one person to another. Virtually all people infected with HCV have evidence of inflammation on liver biopsy, however, the rate of progression of liver scarring (fibrosis) shows significant variability among individuals. Recent data suggests that among untreated patients, roughly one-third progress to liver cirrhosis in less than 20 years. Another third progress to cirrhosis within 30 years. The remainder of patients appear to progress so slowly that they are unlikely to develop cirrhosis within their lifetimes. Factors that have been reported to influence the rate of HCV disease progression include age (increasing age associated with more rapid progression), gender (males have more rapid disease progression than females), alcohol consumption (associated with an increased rate of disease progression), HIV coinfection (associated with a markedly increased rate of disease progression), and fatty liver (the presence of fat in liver cells has been associated with an increased rate of disease progression).

    The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact. In developed countries, it is estimated that 90% of persons with chronic HCV infection were infected through transfusion of unscreened blood or blood products or via injecting drug use or by inhalational drug use. In developing countries, the primary sources of HCV infection are unsterilized injection equipment and infusion of inadequately screened blood and blood products.

    Although injection drug use and receipt of infected blood/blood products are the most common routes of HCV infection, any practice, activity, or situation that involves blood-to-blood exposure can potentially be a source of HCV infection. The virus may be sexually transmitted, although this is rare, and usually only occurs when an STD (like HIV) is also present and makes blood contact more likely.

    So yes, Hep C can be transmitted by sexual contact. Hepatitis C is much more serious than A.

  • aljea
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Hepititis A is caught from fecally contaminated food or water. If your husband doesn't wash his hands after using the bathroom and then makes you food, then you can catch it. This one is curable.

    Hepatitis B can turn into Hepitis C, both can be caught through sex, needles, or blood. Both of these are not curable and can significantly shorten your life because it causes liver inflammation and can eventually lead to liver cancer and then death. A friend of mine has C and her liver is so inflammed that she looks like she is 9 months pregnant.

    All of these cause jaundice (yellowing of the skin due to high birilium levels), because they all attack the liver.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hepatitis A is most generally caused from food poisoning. It is not contagious. It is much less severe and treatable.

    Hepatitis C is caused from infection of bodily fluids. That can be from needles most generally. This is much more severe and no cure is available.

    Both cause damage to the liver and surrounding tissue. (bile duct)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hepatitis C is a liver disease that is caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus, a virus that lives in your liver cells.

    How it spreads

    You cannot get hepatitis C from casual contact such as hugging, kissing, sneezing, coughing, or sharing food or water with someone. You can get hepatitis C if you come into contact with the blood of someone who has hepatitis C.

    The most common way to get hepatitis C is by sharing needles and other equipment (such as cotton, spoons, and water) used to inject illegal drugs. If you are injecting drugs, the best way to protect yourself is by not sharing needles or other equipment with others. Many cities have needle exchange programs that provide free, sterile needles so that you do not have to share needles. If you want to stop using drugs, ask your doctor or someone you trust to help you get into a drug treatment program.

    Before 1992, people could get hepatitis C through blood transfusions and organ transplants. Since 1992, all donated blood and organs are screened for hepatitis C, so it is now rare to get the virus this way.

    In rare cases, a mother with hepatitis C spreads the virus to her baby at birth, or a health care worker is accidentally exposed to blood that is infected with hepatitis C.

    Experts are not sure whether you can get hepatitis C through sexual contact. If there is a risk of getting the virus through sexual contact, it is very small. Your risk is especially low if you are in a long-term, monogamous relationship.

    If you live with someone who has hepatitis C or you know someone with hepatitis C, you generally do not need to worry about getting the disease. You can help protect yourself by not sharing anything that may have blood on it, such as razors, toothbrushes, and nail clippers.

    Contagious and incubation periods

    The incubation period is the time it takes for symptoms to appear after the hepatitis C virus has entered your body, and it is any time from 2 weeks to 6 months.

    Anyone who has hepatitis C can spread the virus to someone else. If testing shows you have hepatitis C, do not share needles, and keep cuts, scrapes, and blisters covered.

    Hepatitis A is caused by a virus (hepatitis A virus, or HAV) that multiplies in liver cells and is shed in stool.

    How HAV is spread

    Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool (feces) of a person who has hepatitis A. The virus is spread most commonly when people put food or objects contaminated with stool containing HAV into their mouths.

    Large numbers of people get the virus after drinking contaminated water because, in many parts of the world, drinking water is contaminated with raw sewage. The virus also may be spread by eating uncooked food (such as raw shellfish) and unpeeled fruits and vegetables washed in contaminated water. Hepatitis A outbreaks caused by contaminated drinking water are rare in the United States because water supplies are treated to destroy the virus and other harmful organisms.

    In the United States, HAV is spread mainly among people who have close contact with someone who has the virus. You can become infected with HAV if you:

    Eat food prepared by someone who does not wash his or her hands well after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.

    Don't wash your hands after changing a diaper.

    Eat raw or undercooked shellfish that was harvested from waters contaminated with raw sewage.

    Are a man and have sex with men.

    Outbreaks of hepatitis A among children in day care facilities occur because children, especially those who wear diapers, may get stool on their hands and then touch objects that other children put into their mouths. Caregivers in day care centers can spread the virus if they do not wash their hands thoroughly after changing a child's diaper.

    It is very rare for hepatitis A virus to be spread by infected blood or blood products. It is not known to be spread through saliva or urine.

    Some people fear that hepatitis A infection is related to or increases the risk of contracting acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This is not true. The hepatitis A virus is not related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS, nor does it increase your risk of HIV infection. A person can be infected with both hepatitis A and HIV, but the two infections have nothing to do with each other.

    Incubation and contagious periods

    After the hepatitis A virus enters your body, the number of virus grows and grows for 2 to 7 weeks. The average incubation period is about 4 weeks.

    Your stools and body fluids contain the highest levels of the virus 2 weeks before symptoms start. This is the time when you are most contagious, but you still may spread the virus after symptoms appear.

    Hope that helps :)

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