Types of Hepatitis

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Understanding Hepatitis and preventing exposure in the workplace. The word “Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is caused by viruses, which are small organisms that can cause disease. There are many different types of viruses that cause hepatitis, and it is possible to be infected with more than one hepatitis virus at the same time. Each virus is completely different from the other viruses, all are prevented and transmitted differently, and each causes different symptoms. Understanding how the different types of hepatitis can spread is the first key to prevention. Hepatitis has many ways of invading the body but there are ways we can protect ourselves from contracting this disease. There are 5 types of hepatitis: A, B, C, D, and E. There are two main ways that hepatitis can pass from person to person: the most common being, coming in contact with infected blood or other body fluids, and contact with feces that is infected. Hepatitis A and E is transmitted via the fecal-oral route. It is often caught by eating foods or drinking water that is contaminated with the feces of a Hepatitis A infected person, so hepatitis A is a great concern for the food industry and there is a vaccine available for Hepatitis A. The virus for hepatitis A and E , also spreads and infections often occur in conditions of poor sanitation, overcrowding, and ingestion of shellfish cultivated in polluted water is associated with a high risk of infection. The virus is resistant to detergent, acid (pH 1), solvents, drying, and temperatures up to 60 °C. Hepatitis B is found is in blood, saliva, vaginal fluid, or semen of an infected person. It is transmitted through unprotected sex, insect bites, and through blood-to-blood contact. Sexual t... ... middle of paper ... ... about his/her illness. They may choose to inform their supervisor if work may be affected. Research around stigma and discrimination in health related settings has implicated universal precautions as a means by which health care workers discriminate against patients. Particularly the use of universal precautions when working with people with HIV and/hepatitis C has been inconsistent and implicated with feelings of stigmatization reported by those populations. Health- cased social research reveals that by not applying universal precautions universally, as is the purpose, health professionals are instead making judgments based on individual’s health status. It is speculated that this differential approach to care stems stigma towards HIV, hepatitis C, rooted largely in fears and misconceptions around transmission and assumptions about patient lifestyle and risk.

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