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World Hepatitis Day: The five different types of hepatitis one must know about

World Hepatitis Day is observed on the 28th of July every year. This event started up by the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to increase the awareness regarding hepatitis and to bring about a visible change. Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused due to a virus, and it is more common than you think- viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year. That is equivalent to the statistics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. Moreover, there are many different kinds of hepatitis viruses – A, B, C, D and E. According to the WHO, India is one of the 11 countries which carry almost 50% of the global burden of chronic hepatitis. Hepatitis is a condition caused due to the inflammation of the liver. It is commonly caused due to a viral infection. The most common types of Hepatitis are Hepatitis B, C and A and also alcoholic hepatitis.

Here are different types of hepatitis that could affect us in our lifetime.

Hepatitis A
This is usually an acute, short term disease, and is most commonly transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by faeces from a person infected with hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B
This is a more ongoing, chronic disease. It is transmitted through contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, vaginal secretions, or semen, containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Injection drug use, having sex with an infected partner, or sharing razors with an infected person increases your risk of getting hepatitis B as well. You can recover from this type in half a year but can sometimes cause long term problems.

Hepatitis C
Again, this is a chronic, ongoing disease. It is mainly spread through blood-to-blood contact, and in rare cases, may be transmitted during childbirth. Many may not show symptoms and it leads to long term infection. Hepatitis C can also lead to scarring of the liver.

Hepatitis D
This is spread through direct contact with infected blood and is a rare form of hepatitis that only occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B infection. This is a chronic disease as well.

Hepatitis E
It is a waterborne disease that typically results from ingesting faecal matter that contaminates a water supply. Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women.


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