Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B Vaccination—Twinrix Vaccine
What Is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is an infection that is caused by specific pathogenic viruses. When infected, the virus starts to multiply in the liver, causing the liver to suffer from Hepatitis B infection. This viral liver infection is considered a public health epidemic throughout the entire world today.
The virus can spread from an infected person to a person who has not been exposed to the infection previously in different ways, including through blood contact. When a woman has chronic Hepatitis B, then she can also carry the virus over to her baby during pregnancy.
In addition to being able to spread through contact with blood from an infected person, the virus that causes the Hepatitis B infection can also spread through a number of other bodily fluids, such as:
- Fluids expelled during menstruation
- Vaginal fluids
- Seminal fluids
This means Hepatitis B can also b/e classified as a sexually transmittable infection. A 2007 study also found the Hepatitis B virus present in the sweat of infected individuals, making this another possible mechanism of transmission for the infection.
It is also important to note that one study explains that the virus can survive outside of the body for as much as five days. Some publications have also claimed that the survival rate of the Hepatitis B virus outside the human body may be up to seven days.
A recent review paper estimates that over two billion individuals have been infected by the Hepatitis B virus in the past (worldwide statistics). The paper also estimates that as much as 350 million people may be living with chronic Hepatitis B at the moment.
What Is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A belongs to a group of viruses that affect the liver, often referred to as acute viral hepatitis infection. This is the most common type of acute viral hepatitis infection, with the majority of liver diseases being diagnosed as a Hepatitis A infection. The infection can easily spread from one person to another, as well as from contaminated food, liquids, and certain particles. In the majority of cases, the virus is spread through contact with trace amounts of feces from an infected person, but there are also cases where the virus spreads through contact with an infected individual’s blood.
Hepatitis B Symptoms
The majority of people who are infected by the Hepatitis B virus will not experience any symptoms at all, even when the virus lurks in their system. Instead, the virus may slowly cause damage to their liver. There are, however some people who may develop symptoms in response to the presence of the Hepatitis B virus in their bodies. These symptoms may include:
- Muscle pain
- Fatigue and feeling tired in general
- Stomach upset and abdominal pain
- A loss of their appetite
- Stools may be light-colored
- Urine may be a dark-yellow color
- Jaundice may also develop in a patient who is infected with the Hepatitis B virus. In such a case, the patient’s skin and eyes may develop a yellowish tone.
Hepatitis A Symptoms
A number of symptoms have been associated with the presence of the Hepatitis A virus in a patient’s liver. It is important for individuals to understand these symptoms and to be aware of their development, especially when visiting a travel destination where the infection is more common.
One of the most important symptoms of Hepatitis A to recognize in the presence of Jaundice, which can cause a yellowing of the skin. In some cases, the eyes may also become a yellowish color. This symptom usually does not develop in young children who are infected by the virus, but the majority of individuals over the age of six tend to develop Jaundice, along with a darkening of their urine.
In addition to Jaundice and dark urine, various other symptoms have also been associated with the Hepatitis A viral infection. These may include the development of a fever, abdominal pain, joint pain, fatigue, and a loss of appetite. Some patient also experiences nausea when they are infected by this virus, which may sometimes be accompanied by vomiting. The stools of a patient with Hepatitis A may become clay-colored.
Both Hepatitis A and Heptatits B are viral infections that affects the liver. They can be an acute infection that causes symptoms to develop shortly after exposure to the virus, but can also become a chronic disease in an affected person. Once infected, the virus can spread even when the infected person does not experience symptoms associated with the disease. A better understanding of the disease, causes, and symptoms, as well as prevalence, can help to reduce the spread of the infection and also yield better results in affected patients through early detection of the liver infection. Vaccination is available for both, and should be used as the first defence against these viruses.