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Video:How Is Hepatitis Contracted?

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Hepatitis can be contracted in different ways, some are food borne illnesses, while other causes are due to high risk sexual activity. In this about.com video, learn how hepatitis is contracted.See Transcript

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Transcript:How Is Hepatitis Contracted?

Hi, I am Dr. Bindu Balani. I am one of the infectious diseases physicians here at Hackensack University Medical Center.

Hepatitis A and E

Hepatitis A and hepatitis E are both food borne illnesses. Fecal-oral transmission is the route of this particular disease's spread. Hand washing and good food techniques should be able to eliminate this disease.

Hepatitis B

In hepatitis B's case in United States, the transmission in majority of times in the adulthood because of high risk sexual activity and illegal drug use. In presence of effective campaigns for the vaccines for hepatitis B, has eliminated this particular disease entity quite significantly. In endemic areas of origin of Asia and Africa, the presence of childhood transmission and mother to baby transmission still are the most common ways of this acquisition. Children born to parents of these endemic origin of cases, even though born in United States themselves, should be specifically screened for hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C

For hepatitis C, majority of times, is a bloodborne disease. The transmission through IV or intranasal drug use or body piercings with unsterile techniques, tattoos under unsterile techniques could all be a transmits at risk. The presence of blood transfusions prior to 1992 or organ transplantations, patients on long-term hemodialysis or long-term facilities should also be screened for this particular disease. Presence of hepatitis C  in the family members should make them be aware that personal hygiene product sharing could transmit this disease. So sharing of toothbrushes and razors should not be done. Patients with HIV disease should be screened for hepatitis C and so should the children born to the parents with hepatitis C. Vertical transmission or mother-to-baby transmission can occur with hepatitis C. Higher incidents of this disease are also seen in the veterans, in the firefighters, police officers and health care workers.

Patients who are going to be undergoing cancer chemotherapy and or immune modulating treatments, for example rheumatoid arthritis should be specifically screened for hepatitis B because of the risk of reactivation and fulminant hepatitis.

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