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Viral hepatitis

Dr. Subhash R, Consultant Surgical Gastroenterologist, SUT Hospital, Pattom

Liver inflammation or viral hepatitis is a viral disease that affects the liver cells in our body. Although hepatitis can be caused by many other causes, viral hepatitis is very important. There are mainly five types of viruses that specifically affect the liver cells and cause liver inflammation. These are classified as Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis B and C are the most common types of hepatitis. Estimates indicate that more than 11 lakh patients die every year and more than 30 lakh people become newly infected due to these two viruses alone.

Different types of hepatitis (Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E)
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Hepatitis B and C are the most common and complicated viral hepatitis. These diseases are mainly transmitted through contact with the blood and other body fluids of infected people. The disease can be transmitted from an infected mother to her child. Hepatitis B and C (Hepatitis B and C) cause long-lasting chronic hepatitis in some patients and over time these lead to serious problems such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

  • Hepatitis D
  • Hepatitis D virus is a virus that only affects Hepatitis B patients. Co-infection with Hepatitis B-D is very serious and complicated.

  • Hepatitis A and E virus
  • These diseases are spread through water or food contaminated with the virus. These infections usually cause comparatively less complications than hepatitis B and C.


If you notice jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite, you should immediately seek the help of a doctor and, if necessary, undergo tests as per his instructions.


Effective antiviral treatment for Hepatitis B and C is available nowadays. Timely treatment can cure the disease and prevent serious problems like cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis A and E do not require specific antiviral drugs. We can keep these diseases under control with proper patient care and treatment to maintain liver health.

How to prevent?
    1. Hepatitis A and E infection can be prevented by ensuring clean food and boiled water. Food and water from unsanitary conditions should be avoided especially during travel.
    2. The following methods can be adopted to prevent Hepatitis B and C diseases.
      • Ensure the equipment that comes into contact with blood (needles and other hospital equipment) is used only once.
      • Avoid sharing shaving sets, blades and toothbrushes.
      • Get tattoos, acupuncture, etc. only from safe places.
      • Those who pass through a susceptible situation should undergo screening tests for hepatitis.
    3. Vaccines
    4. Effective vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B are available today. By accepting them, you can avoid the spread of the disease. By creating proper awareness about viral hepatitis among individuals helps control the spread of the disease to a great extend.