The Hepatitis virus can be difficult for many to grasp, even though we have a day of “observance” related to the disease (World Hepatitis Day, July 28, 2012). You may have several ideas about it and know that it’s definitely not something you should try to contract; but aside from that, many details remain cloudy. In case you are just brushing up on some medical knowledge, or simply need to know more about it, here are five things you didn’t know about hepatitis.There’s More Than One Type
Most of you may already know this – after all, they are named after letters or something, right? While the most talked about types are B and C, there are actually five types in all. Starting from A, we have hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Each one of these is caused by a different virus, and can be acquired through different situations. Hepatitis B, for example, is spread by contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids, whether it’s semen, blood, or other fluid. Hepatitis E, on the other hand, is caused by drinking water that’s infected with the virus. It’s Deadlier (And More Contagious) Than You Think
Even though a vaccine exists, hepatitis B continues to kill two people per minute. That’s because most people infected with the virus don’t even know they have it until it’s too late. In fact, around two-thirds of all people infected with hepatitis B are unaware, and 25 percent of them end up dying because they realized it too late. It’s also a lot more contagious than a more well-known public enemy – HIV. For every one HIV infection, 100 people are being infected with hepatitis B. Some Types May Be Hard to Recognize
One particular type, hepatitis C, almost always shows no symptoms. Most of the people infected with HCV don’t even realize they are infected until their liver begins to show damage from the disease. This significant damage can take decades to develop, and is usually only found by routine medical tests, not reports of painful or strange symptoms. Hepatitis C is Among The Most Dangerous
Hepatitis C is considered to be the most dangerous type of hepatitis, but not just because it’s so hard to detect. It’s caused by another lethal virus, and can easily infect anyone who comes into contact with it. Currently, there is no cure from the infection; and unlike many other types of hepatitis, there is no vaccine either. Because of the following reasons - it’s hard to see symptoms of the deadly virus, it’s easily contagious, and no vaccine exists - hepatitis C infects over 180 million people worldwide. The irreversible damage caused to the liver by hepatitis C is often the cause of death. In fact, hepatitis C is the number one reason for liver transplantation in the United States.Cited Sources
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