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  • Context (TH): Indian Immunologicals (IIL) launched the country’s first indigenously developed Hepatitis A vaccine, ‘Havisure’.

Hepatitis

  • Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.
  • The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to chronic hepatitis, which can lead to progressive scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) or liver cancer.
  • Causes: Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis. Toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain drugs), and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.
  • Symptoms: Acute infection may occur with limited or no symptoms or may include symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

5 Types of Hepatitis Virus

Hepatitis A Virus (HAV)

  • It is the most common type of viral hepatitis.
  • Causes: It is generally seen in the areas where sanitation and sewage disposal are poor. It is usually a short-term (acute) infection.
  • Transmission: Commonly spread through faecal-oral route (ingestion of contaminated food and water). Certain sex practices can also spread HAV.
  • Treatment: There is no specific treatment other than using medication. Vaccines are available to prevent HAV.

Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)

  • Transmission
    1. Through exposure to infective blood, semen, and other body fluids.
    2. From infected mothers to infants at the time of birth
    3. Through contaminated injections during medical procedures, & through injection drug use.
  • Prevention: Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HBV.

Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

  • Transmission: Through exposure to infective blood during transfusions of HCV-contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use. Sexual transmission is also possible but is much less common.
  • There is no vaccine for HCV.

Hepatitis D Virus (HDV)

  • It occurs only in those who are infected with HBV.
  • The dual infection of HDV and HBV can result in a more serious disease and worse outcome.
  • Prevention: Hepatitis B vaccines protect from HDV infection.

Hepatitis E Virus (HEV)

  • Transmission is mostly through the consumption of contaminated water or food.
  • Prevention: Safe and effective vaccines to prevent HEV infection have been developed but are not widely available.

Quick Facts

  • Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water.
  • Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of contact with infected body fluids.
  • Hepatitis B and C can cause chronic hepatitis and are responsible for 96% of overall hepatitis mortality.
  • Hepatitis A and E cause acute hepatitis.
  • Vaccines are available to prevent hepatitis A, B and E. However, no vaccine for hepatitis C.
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