Hepatitis is a serious disease primarily affecting the liver. It can manifest either chronically or acutely with early stage symptoms such as decreased appetite, headaches, abdominal troubles, and fatigue. Jaundice is often a secondary symptom. However, the hepatitis virus may also occur a-symptomatically. Even when noticeable symptoms are not present, chronic hepatitis if left untreated can wreak devastating damage on the liver. The duration of infection and seriousness of the condition depend on which variety of hepatitis has been contracted. Hepatitis A and B often resolve over the course of several months, whereas hepatitis C very rarely resolves itself. Fibrosis, cirrhosis, and in rare cases acute liver failure are all possible results if this disease is left untreated.
With the exceptions of A and E, the hepatitis viruses are blood borne pathogens. As such they can only be contracted via contact with the blood of a person who is already infected. These can also be transmitted via bodily fluids, although this method of contagion is less frequent. The only way that you can receive a positive diagnosis is by consulting with a Hepatitis Doctor in Nassau County NY. A specialist will consider medical history and substance use and perform blood tests in order to make a proper diagnosis. These blood tests allow the doctor to evaluate the levels of viral antigens and anti-viral antibodies in your blood. These are generally present from the earliest stages of infection. In some cases, a liver biopsy may also be necessary for diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment are important not just because it dramatically increases a patient’s chances of successful recovery, but also to help prevent the spread of this disease. Vaccines are available to protect against hepatitis A and B, and children can be immunized as young as one year of age.
Treatment will vary depending on the type of virus, the form the disease takes, and its severity. Hepatitis A and B rarely develop into chronic conditions. Hepatitis C, however, very often progresses to a chronic state. Antiviral drugs are the most common means of treating this form of the disease. If you think you may have been exposed to any variety of this virus, contact a Hepatitis Doctor in Nassau County NY as soon as possible. click here to find a specializing physician.