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A trial of fecal transplant offers hope for liver illness.

A trial of fecal transplant offers hope for liver illness.

Fecal transplants may be a successful treatment for persons with end-stage chronic liver disease. This is according to research from Europe.

The “good” bacteria from a healthy donor are used to replace the “bad” bacteria in the gut microbiome.

The use of fecal transplant pills to treat C. difficile infection is authorized in the US. Numerous more potential uses for fecal transplantation exist in addition to cirrhosis studies.

For those with chronic liver disease, a new study into fecal transplants may change the game. After promising results from the first experiment, known as the PROFIT trial. A team led by King’s College London is about to start a clinical trial there known as the PROMISE trial.

Today at the 2023 EASL (European Association for the Study of the Liver) Congress in Vienna, Austria, the results of the PROFIT experiment. These have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed publication, were presented.

Although fecal transplants are safe and effective, there are other therapy choices for cirrhosis patients. According to the trial’s researchers, who believe their data will open up more possibilities.

Using a capsule to deliver a fecal transplant

Gastroenterologist and internal medicine specialist Dr. Daniel Freedberg is a member of the Peggy Lillis Foundation’s scientific advisory council and an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York.

Records of fecal transplants date back centuries, according to Freedberg, who is not a participant in the clinical trial, who spoke to us.

“More recently, we have two decades of experience using faecal transplants for recurrent Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile) infection,” the doctor said. “Faecal transplants transfer stool from a healthy person to a sick person. The theory is that the injured gut bacteria will be replaced by normal, healthy bacteria, aiding in the recovery of health. Faecal transplants can be performed orally, colonoscopically, upper endoscopically, or through an enema. Faecal transplants can be delivered in all of these ways with success.”

The PROFIT trial’s researchers discovered that patients preferred taking a tablet to the other, more invasive techniques. Even though each one may be successful.

Patients told researchers that they would rather take pills than undergo an endoscopy to provide the fecal transplant, according to Debbie Shawcross, chief investigator of the PROMISE trial and professor of hepatology at Kings College London.

She noted that for patients with cirrhosis who have exhausted all other therapy choices, “the ‘capsules,’ as they are sometimes called. This have no taste or smell as the name suggests, may offer new hope.”

The “bad” bacteria that is present in the bodies of persons with cirrhosis of the liver may be effectively replaced by taking the capsules. These are filled with freeze-dried stool rich in “good” bacteria, according to the research.

While further research is required, fecal transplants may one day be a viable alternative to liver transplantation for some patients.

Trial of faeces transplant will be expanded

There will be 300 individuals with liver disease participating in the new experiment, which will begin in the UK. The current trial is different from the last one in that there are 300 participants instead of 32, a larger study sample. Half of the patients will ingest freeze-dried fecal matter capsules, or “crapules,” instead of having an endoscopy. The other half will take a placebo.

Fortunately, the ‘capsules’ don’t taste or smell as their name might imply. This kind of treatment is far less invasive than an endoscopy, which is advantageous to patients.

Over 21 days, the participants will take five capsules of medication (either FMT or placebo). Each at intervals of 91 days (every three months).

In contrast to the prior study, which only tracked patients for 90 days, the current trial permits the researchers to evaluate participants over 2 years. This provides for a more thorough investigation of the medication’s impact.

A healthy donor is used to provide the feces, who is then thoroughly examined for bacterial and parasite diseases, Covid-19 and other infections, as well as their risk factors.

Samples of blood, feces, and urine will also be taken at the time of recruitment and again after three, six, and twelve months. Following that, the samples will be examined for a variety of biomarkers,. This includes cytokine production, indicators of barrier integrity, a global metabolite profile, and fecal proteomics.


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Quick guide on Metabolic-associated fatty liver disease.

Quick guide on Metabolic-associated fatty liver disease.

According to researchers, the prevalence of metabolic-associated fatty liver disease is sharply rising in the US.

Although there are other causes, experts say heredity and fat are the two main contributors to the disease. They claim that a balanced diet and regular exercise can help lower the risk of contracting the illness.

The most common cause of liver disease worldwide and one that is notably rising in the US is metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), formerly known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

That is supported by a study that was presented today at ENDO 2023, the annual conference of the Endocrine Society.

Researchers examined data for 32,726 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants in their findings, which have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

They gathered health data between 1988 and 2018.

The investigators contrasted rising MAFLD rates with rising obesity rates. They claimed that

  • From 16% of participants in 1988 to 37% in 2018, there has been a 131% increase in MAFLD.
  • From 23% in 1988 to 40% in 2018, there was a 74% increase in the prevalence of obesity.

MAFLD risk factors

Prior to this, medical experts believed that obesity was the main risk factor for MAFLD.

Because MAFLD grew more quickly than fat, the researchers hypothesised that there must be additional risk factors, such as diabetes and hypertension.

The incidence rate for each of the three studied population groups considerably rose during the course of the study:

  • Whites: 133%
  • among Mexican Americans, 61%
  • 60% of Blacks

Mexican Americans consistently had a greater rate of MAFLD than the general population did over the course of the study.

Dr. Aymin Delgado-Borrego, a hepatologist of KIDZ Medical who was not involved in the study, noted that Hispanics/Latinos have a higher prevalence of MAFLD.

She informed us that because Latinos from Mexico and Central America are more common than those from other countries, it is not appropriate to generalise this to all Hispanics.

But even though Hispanics are more frequently impacted, the study’s key result is that non-Hispanic whites had a more significant rise in prevalence. Once more, this is crucial information that can be used to comprehend the various contributing variables of MAFLD, according to hepatologist Dr. Aymin Delgado-Borrego.

Many forms of fatty liver disease

Alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases are the two main varieties.

Although it’s rare, fatty liver can also occur during pregnancy.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Fat deposits in the liver of non-heavy drinkers are known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

NAFLD may be diagnosed if you have too much fat in your liver and no history of drinking heavily. Simple NAFLD is the name given to the disorder if there is no inflammation or other problems.

NAFLD includes non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It occurs when inflammation coexists with the accumulation of extra fat in the liver. A physician may identify NASH if:

  • Your liver has too much fat.
  • You have an irritated liver.
  • You’ve never consumed a lot of booze before.

In the absence of treatment, NASH can result in liver fibrosis. This might worsen in extreme cases, leading to cirrhosis and liver failure.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD)

Abundant alcohol use harms the liver. The initial stage of alcohol-related liver damage is known as alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD). The condition is referred to as simple alcoholic fatty liver if there is no inflammation or other problems.

An example of AFLD is alcoholic steatohepatitis (ASH). It is sometimes referred to as alcoholic hepatitis and occurs when there is an accumulation of extra fat in the liver along with inflammation. A physician could identify Trusted Source ASH if:

  • Your liver has too much fat.
  • You have an irritated liver.
  • You partake in heavy drinking

If left untreated, ASH can result in liver fibrosis. Cirrhosis, a severe liver scarring condition, can cause liver failure.

Acute fatty liver of pregnancy (AFLP)

When too much fat accumulates in the liver during pregnancy, it is known as acute fatty liver pregnancy (AFLP). It’s a dangerous pregnancy issue that is uncommon. Genetics may play a role, albeit the precise cause is uncertain.

AFLP typically manifests during the third trimester of pregnancy. It poses significant health concerns to the mother and child if left untreated.

A doctor will want to deliver your baby as soon as possible if they diagnosis AFLP. After giving delivery, you might require follow-up treatment for a few days.

After delivering delivery, your liver’s health should return to normal in a few weeks.

Relating to fatty liver disease caused by a metabolic disorder

A 2020 study found that the term “metabolic-associated fatty liver disease” refers to a range of liver conditions that are not directly related to alcohol consumption.Published in the World Journal of Hepatology.

One of the main justifications for liver transplants is MAFLD. Currently, it is the main contributor to liver disease worldwide.

Dr. Hillel Tobias, a specialist in transplant hepatology, gastroenterology, and internal medicine at Northwell Lenox Hill Hospital in New York who was not involved in the study, stated that “in 2015 and earlier, [viral] hepatitis was the most prevalent cause of liver disease.”

He explained to us that MAFLD rose to become the leading cause once medications to treat viral hepatitis were discovered.

MALFD symptoms and causes

According to the National Institutes of Health, MALFD is a quiet disease because it exhibits little to no symptoms. Fatigue or soreness in the upper right side of the abdomen may be experienced by those with symptoms.

Genes are one factor in MAFLD. Mexican Americans are thought to be genetically predisposed to the condition, making them more prone to suffer from it.

Additional factors include:

  • obesity or excess weight
  • glucose intolerance or type 2 diabetes
  • abnormal blood fat levels, including high triglycerides, high cholesterol, and low HDL
  • Large waist circumference, high triglyceride levels, low HDL, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, or type 2 diabetes are all symptoms of the metabolic syndrome.

Currently, researchers are looking into a potential connection between MALFD and fructose-heavy diets. Additionally, they are investigating any potential impacts of the gut microbiota.

Diet may contribute to MAFLD.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that research has connected various environmental pollutants to fatty liver disease.

Household chemicals like vinyl chloride, which is used to make PVC, as well as others, may be a factor.

“Some people are predisposed to MAFLD, as shown by the high incidence rate in Hispanics,” Dr. Hillel added.

“This is somewhat explained by the significant dietary differences between Mexico and the United States. The high prevalence may be related to switching from one eating pattern to another because the American diet contains far more carbs. A diet rich in carbs can cause fatty liver.

“COVID-19 may also have contributed to the higher rates because people’s diets changed when they were all confined to their homes,” says the researcher. added Dr. Hillel. Although many people began eating healthier, many still turned to processed and fast foods, which are rich in carbs.

Dr. Hillel stated, “Overall, although I somewhat agree with the results, this was not really a good study. “We need to see the results repeated and supported by additional research,”

lowering the danger of fatty liver illness

MALFD can be reversed if caught early, according to doctors, because the liver is capable of self-repair. However, because it is a silent disease (or at least one that is very quiet), it is not frequently found early.

Imaging exams and blood testing can reveal the disease. Only a biopsy can determine whether the disease has reached a hazardous stage.

Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist at NYU Langone Health in New York who was not involved in the study, told us that if it is not treated, it could turn into cirrhosis. However, there are measures to lower your chance of contracting the illness.

According to Caroline Thomason, a nutritionist with a practise in Virginia who was not part in the study, “People can make lifestyle changes that have big returns on their investment.”

Why are there still so many unsolved issues regarding a condition that affects a quarter of the world’s population? questioned Dr. Delgado-Borrego.

In order to prioritise this situation, which at the moment represents a global public health disaster, a global effort is undoubtedly required.


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Japanese Diet May Slow Progression Of Fatty Liver Disease.

Japanese Diet May Slow Progression Of Fatty Liver Disease.

According to a new study, a Japanese diet can reduce the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in those who already have the condition.

According to the study, soy products, shellfish, and seaweed have the strongest links to slowed liver fibrosis progression. The Japanese diet encourages eating high-quality foods and consuming less sodium, sugar, and saturated fat.

According to a recent study, persons with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) may be able to reduce the illness’s progression by adopting a Japanese-style diet.

136 patients with NAFLD were being treated at the Osaka Metropolitan University Hospital in Japan when the study’s authors followed their diet and the development of their illness.

Each person’s diet was evaluated by researchers based on how closely it adhered to the 12-component Japanese Diet Index or mJDI12. High mJDI12 scores were linked to a slowing of the NAFLD-related liver fibrosis development.

There are 12 different foods and dietary groups in the Japanese diet:

  • rice
  • Miso broth
  • pickles
  • soy-based goods
  • yellow and green vegetables
  • fruits
  • seafood
  • mushrooms
  • seaweed
  • emerald tea
  • coffee
  • pork and beef

About the Japanese diet, those who ate more soy, seafood, and seaweed experienced the greatest inhibition of the development of liver fibrosis.

The impact of food on muscle mass was also monitored by the researchers. They discovered that individuals who consumed more soy products did so in addition to having lower rates of fibrosis advancement.

What precisely is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?

Although it doesn’t directly harm the liver, NAFLD is a condition in which fat deposits there can potentially affect how well the organ functions.

The risk of non-liver malignancies, such as colon cancer, chronic kidney disease, gastric reflux, obstructive sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, periodontitis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, psychiatric issues, and growth hormone issues, is increased in those with NAFLD.

To better understand how the disease progresses, we spoke with Dr. Muhammad Nadeem Aslam, an assistant research scientist in the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan who was not involved in the study.

Utilizing excessive amounts of fat, especially saturated fat, processed carbohydrates like fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Also, consuming too many calories, causes an imbalance between fat accumulation and breakdown in the liver, with the result being fat buildup in the liver.

Dietitian for heart health Michelle Routhenstein, who was also excluded from the study, stated:

“Foods high in refined sugars, saturated fat, salt, or trans fat can all contribute to fatty liver disease. This is done by causing the body to become more oxidatively stressed and inflammatory.”

While fatty infiltration is typically tolerated, Dr. Aslam added that an excessive buildup of lipids in the liver. This includes triglycerides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol, which can cause cellular stress and the production of reactive oxygen species.

According to Rosenstein, some items that encourage NAFLD include hydrogenated oils, fried foods, drinks, soda, and processed foods.

What makes Japanese cuisine wholesome?

Fresh, unadulterated foods with little refined ingredients, saturated fats, and added sugar make up the majority of the Japanese diet.

Due to their diet’s high soy and fish content, previous studies have shown that those who follow the Japanese diet had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

The largest population of centenarians is found on the island of Okinawa, which is located in southernmost Japan. The extended life expectancy and decreased incidence of obesity among Japanese people may be due to their low-calorie, nutrient-dense diet.

According to studies, Japanese people have the lowest risk of developing age-related illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.

Some advantages of the Japanese diet include the following:

It enhances digestion – Fiber-rich foods that help with digestion include fruits, vegetables, seaweed, soybeans, and soy products. Fruits and vegetables that have been pickled are a wonderful source of probiotics.

It is a nutrient-rich diet – Japanese cuisine naturally contains a lot of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients including omega-3 fats.

Natural low-calorie foods and the Japanese practice of eating until 80 percent full assist prevent overeating. Also, provide the calorie deficit necessary for weight loss, which contributes to maintaining a healthy weight.

The Japanese eating style, in addition to the food, aids in keeping good health. The senses are stimulated when food is consumed from a tiny bowl with numerous different dishes rather than a large plate. They adhere to the “flexible restraint” philosophy, which permits occasional small-portion consumption of snacks and treats.

The following three Japanese foods

The study’s top three foods each have their own advantages, but they also have at least one thing in common: they are low in fat. Dr. Aslam cited soybeans as an example of a plant protein that is high in fiber and low in saturated fat.

Given that soy is a complete protein that contains all necessary amino acids to support the synthesis of muscle proteins, soy is “associated with higher muscle mass,” according to Rosenstein.

“Seafood, especially fish, is a good source of vitamins D and B2 (riboflavin), as well as omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to being a fantastic source of minerals like iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium, fish is also high in calcium and phosphorus, according to Dr. Aslam.

According to Routhenstein, seafood may have a suppressive influence on the evolution of fibrosis because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities.

Japanese seaweed is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols. Dr. Aslam continued, “In addition to vitamins, the majority of edible algae have a special blend of nutrients.

Additional foods that lower NAFLD

The Mediterranean diet is another eating plan with a good reputation for helping those with NAFLD. Lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and other plant-based foods are highlighted.

According to Routhenstein, green tea is one food in the mJDI12 index that is particularly beneficial for NAFLD because of its antioxidant content.

It “is protective against fatty liver disease because it contains about 200-300 mg of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in one cup,” claimed Routhenstein.

Dr. Aslam noted that coffee beans high in antioxidants are also linked to a generally lower risk for NAFLD.

“Raspberries are rich in insoluble fiber that helps create a short chain fatty acid in the gut called butyrate which studies have shown to be helpful in the reversal and prevention of fatty liver disease,” Routhenstein noted.

Including Japanese food and culture in one’s diet

This study highlights the chance to take charge of your health by including therapeutic foods to help stop the advancement of fatty liver disease, according to Routhenstein.

Dr. Aslam voiced alarm over the fact that so many Americans continue to consume a diet that is “far below dietary guidelines recommendations for healthy dietary patterns.”

“The lack of these nutrient-dense foods in the daily diets can cause diet-related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease,” claimed Dr. Aslam.

Dr. Aslam praised nutrient-rich diets, which are lower in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat:

“Nutrient-dense foods are those that are prepared with no or little added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium,” said Dr. Aslam. “These foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, eggs, beans, peas, and lentils, unsalted nuts and seeds, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and lean meats and poultry.”


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Does the contraceptive pill increase risk of breast cancer?

Does the contraceptive pill increase risk of breast cancer?

Researchers looked into the connection between breast cancer risk and the usage of hormonal contraceptives. They discovered that using progestin-only contraceptives raises breast cancer risk in a manner similar to using both types of contraceptives.

According to them, doctors should consider the advantages and disadvantages of patients using hormonal contraceptives.

Almost 65% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 used some form of contraception between 2017 and 2019, with 14% of them using the pill. The progestin-only pill and the combined pill, which contains both progestin and estrogen-based components. These are the two types of contraceptive tablets available.

Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone, and progestin, or progestogen, is a synthetic version of it. Those who use combination contraceptives have a marginally higher chance of developing breast cancer within 10 years of use, according to a meta-analysis from 1996.

The use of contraceptives that exclusively contain progestin, such as pills, injectables, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUDs), has increased recently. From 1.9 million in 2010 to 3.3 million in 2020, England saw an increase in prescriptions for medications. However, the effect of progestin-only contraceptives on breast cancer risk has received little attention in the past.

Researchers recently looked into the connection between the usage of hormonal contraceptives and the risk of breast cancer. They discovered that progestin-only contraceptives marginally raise the risk of breast cancer, similar to combination tablets.

What is the contraceptive pill?

The term “the pill” also refers to the oral contraceptive. In the UK, it is a widely used method of birth control. To avoid getting pregnant, take the contraceptive pill orally. The body’s hormones regulate the menstrual cycle (periods). By altering these hormones’ concentrations, the pill stops conception.

You may learn more about the two major forms of contraceptive pills on the NHS website:

  • The combination pill is a medication that combines both oestrogen and progestogen.
  • The little tablet (also called the progestogen-only pill or POP). Just progestogen is present in this tablet.

There are additional hormonal contraceptives on the market. On them and the risk of cancer, there is limited research. You can learn more about the various forms of contraception from your doctor.

Data on hormonal contraceptives use

The study’s authors examined medical information from a primary care database in the UK. They included information from 18,171 women without breast cancer and 9,498 women under 50 who had the disease.

Together, 44% of breast cancer survivors and 39% of non-survivors had a prescription for hormonal contraception. They were for progestin-only preparations around half of the time.

In the end, the researchers discovered that taking combination contraceptive pills elevated the risk of breast cancer by 23%. They also discovered that oral contraceptives that contain solely progestin raised the incidence of breast cancer by 29%.

Injectables, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUDs) are examples of other progestin-only formulations that raised the risk of breast cancer by 18%, 28%, and 21%, respectively.

According to the study, breast cancer incidence increased after five years of oral contraceptive usage in women between the ages of 35 and 39, rising from 265 per 100,000 users to 8 per 100,000 in those between 16 and 20.

Oral birth control and breast cancer risk

City of Hope Orange County’s medical director for women’s health and medical oncology, Dr. Irene M. Kang, was not involved in the research.

“Because all medications have dangers and advantages, talking to your doctor about any worries you have is very important. A few adverse consequences of oral contraceptives are blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. In altering the levels of oestrogen and progesterone, research has revealed that oral contraceptives can affect a person’s chance of developing specific malignancies – in some circumstances, such as ovarian and endometrial cancers, downwardly; in other situations, upwardly. Family planning and more controlled menstrual cycles are additional advantages.

Medical oncologist Dr. Lilian Harris, who was not involved in the study, concurred that hormonal contraceptives offer advantages and disadvantages:

For instance, they can aid in the treatment of acne, fibroids, endometriosis, and menstrual pain in addition to protecting against pelvic inflammatory disease. Also, it has been demonstrated that they lower the risk of uterine cancer. On the other hand, any medicine could have hazards. These side effects for oral contraceptives can include higher risk for breast cancer as well as nausea, headaches, and breast discomfort.

Study limitations 

Dr. Kang said that the study’s shortcomings include that it only explains short-term risk associations rather than long-term danger because of the way it was designed.

Not a part of the study, according to Dr. Kristina Shaffer, a breast surgery oncologist at Novant Health Cancer Institute:

“In addition, the study included premenopausal women, a population whose incidence of breast cancer is lower, suggesting that other variables could have been to blame for the study’s findings of a slightly greater risk. While the study did take into account some of the recognised risk factors for breast cancer, it did not take into account family history, genetic predisposition, or history of atypical breast cells, all of which are known to have an impact on the risk of breast cancer.

Implications for contraceptives use

As a non-participant in the study, Dr. Parvin Peddi is a board-certified medical oncologist who serves as the Margie Petersen Breast Center’s director of breast medical oncology at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and an associate professor of medical oncology at Saint John’s Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California.

The important takeaway from this study is that despite the perception of a lower risk of perinatal cancer, women do not always need to choose a birth control pill that only contains progesterone. – Doctor Peddie

However, Dr. Peddie emphasised that the absolute risk of breast cancer from any of these drugs is relatively low, and this study should not discourage women from using birth control methods that contain hormones.

Less than 0.5% of women aged 35 to 39 who used these drugs showed a risk of breast cancer, and even fewer women who took them earlier.

For instance, a relative rise of 20% would raise the risk of breast cancer in a 30-year-old woman from 5% to 6%. And for this reason, the study came to the conclusion that there was a modest increase in the risk of breast cancer,” she said.

Dr. Kang also pointed out: “Like all cancers, the risk of developing breast cancer rises with age and, in this case, also with the duration of hormonal contraception use.

It may be more advantageous for you to switch to a hormone-free birth control if you have a higher chance of developing breast cancer. Get treatment from a doctor who specialises in your particular type of cancer if you are diagnosed with breast cancer.

Self-exams and screenings are crucial because “early detection of breast cancer is one of the most significant factors in successfully treating this disease,” Dr. Kang said.


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Are Frozen Strawberries linked with Hepatitis Outbreak?

Are Frozen Strawberries linked with Hepatitis Outbreak?


Due to hepatitis A infections, the FDA announced voluntary recalls on some frozen strawberry goods from California Splendor, Inc. and Scenic Fruit Company. The recalled goods were distributed all around the country, including in Trader Joe’s and Costco stores.

The best way for people to protect themselves, according to experts, is to wash their hands frequently. Also, avoid touching raw or undercooked meat, and get vaccinated against hepatitis A.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), two businesses are voluntarily recalling their organic frozen strawberries. This is due to the connection to five viral hepatitis A illnesses.

Following the FDA’s opening of an investigation into a hepatitis A outbreak, two businesses California Splendor, Inc., and Scenic Fruit Company voluntarily recalled some frozen strawberry goods. These include labels like Trader Joe’s Organic Tropical Fruit Mix. This is sold under its own name, and Kirkland Signature, which is available at some Costco locations.

Washington State has seen all five of the hepatitis A infections linked to frozen strawberries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s conceivable that additional people had symptoms from the recalled product but did not report them.

The hepatitis A virus has not yet been identified in any of the items. However, every sick person said they had eaten frozen strawberries before getting sick.

“Five cases product was withdrawn. According to Robert Fontana, MD, professor of internal medicine in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Michigan Medicine. He said that they don’t want anyone to acquire it because it’s a public health issue. “It doesn’t matter how healthy you are; you can get sick as an adult even if you’re completely healthy.”

What Is Hepatitis A?

According to Chloe Thio, MD, professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Medicine, hepatitis A is a foodborne sickness that affects the liver.

She said that liver cells are where the virus enters. In the majority of cases, the infection will simply be eliminated by your immune system. Some will are those who will experience significant liver cell disintegration. While others may not experience any symptoms at all.

Dr. Thio pointed out that hepatitis A is transmitted by the fecal-oral route. This means that infection occurs when a person unintentionally consumes blood or stool contaminated with the virus.

Dr. Thio stated that even though the FDA has not identified the precise source of the contamination in the instance of these frozen strawberries, the fruit most likely acquired contaminated with the hepatitis A virus during the growing or processing process. It’s likely that some of the individuals handling the berries contracted hepatitis A while doing so, or that tainted water was used to irrigate the plants.

Each year or two, the country is affected by these food-related outbreaks, which are frequently caused by tainted produce, according to Dr. Fontana. Because of the FDA and CDC’s involvement and ability to identify it and pull the product, most outbreaks are self-limited.

This outbreak is related to another hepatitis A outbreak that affected fresh strawberries around 10 months ago and that appears to have started in the same region—Baja California, Mexico—as this one. Dr. Fontana speculated that in order to ensure that this won’t happen again, additional government bodies may need to look into emerging practises in this area.

Hepatitis A Symptoms

If you have this infection, your liver is inflamed because of the virus. Numerous children, in particular, lack symptoms in some persons. Others may have:

  • Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin)
  • belly ache
  • dark urine
  • reduced appetite
  • uneasy stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Light-colored faeces
  • aching joints
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

Although they may recur for up to six months, these issues often go away after around two months. Even if you feel healthy, the hepatitis A virus can still be transferred. Additionally, you can spread it in the two weeks prior to and the first week following the onset of your symptoms.

How to Avoid Getting Sick?

Dr. Thio noted that even though the recall was extensive, it does not necessarily follow that each and every package of organic frozen strawberries is hepatitis A-positive.

According to Dr. Thio, the frozen strawberries are unlikely to contaminate other foods in a person’s refrigerator and would even be safe to consume if the virus on the fruit were to be killed by heating it at high temperatures. Yet in situations like this, it’s preferable to be cautious than sorry.

Dr. Thio remarked, “I wouldn’t eat them. Hepatitis A may thrive in nooks and crannies, especially in strawberries, so even after washing the fruit, there may still be some contamination.

Hepatitis A symptoms might vary in intensity, although they can occasionally be very severe. Some people might go through:

  • yellow eyes or skin
  • abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • faeces with a pale tone or dark urine
  • Diarrhea
  • aching joints

Drs. Fontana and Thio concurred that hepatitis A infections can be somewhat more problematic for elderly individuals, those with impaired immune systems, and those with underlying liver diseases. Rarely, individuals in these higher-risk groups could develop liver failure or even pass away from the infection.

Beyond the symptoms, Scott Meschke, PhD, professor in the department of environmental and occupational health science at the University of Washington School of Public Health, said that hepatitis A outbreaks are also dangerous because infected individuals may spread the disease to other members of their household or customers if they work in the food service industry.

Individuals are most contagious in the one to two weeks before to the onset of symptoms, which may present additional opportunities for virus transmission.


When consumers are harmed by contaminated food, firms are sometimes plainly to fault. According to NPR, the former Head of a company that marketed peanuts received a 28-year prison sentence in 2015 for knowing selling goods that were tainted with salmonella. He replied in an email, “Just ship it.

But because they are picked by hand, lack any natural defences like a peel or shell, cannot be washed thoroughly without causing damage, and are often not cooked before consumption, berries are particularly susceptible to contamination. Even when businesses and employees are cautious and adhere to best procedures, they are therefore more likely to be contaminated at the moment of consumption than, for example, a watermelon or an avocado, according to Detwiler.

Because the water at the farm is contaminated, perhaps by animal excrement, faecal matter infected with Hepatitis A could be transferred by employees who haven’t cleansed their hands. Another potential point of contamination on the path to consumers is the freezing of berries after they have been harvested.

The CDC advises people to get in touch with their state agency as soon as possible if they have any reason to believe they may have consumed a contaminated berry. Also, medical specialists can help to alleviate the problem if a person learns they may have been infected with hepatitis A while in close contact with others.

Because hepatitis A is contagious, it is advised that household contacts receive a dose of the vaccination within two weeks, according to Dr. Fontana. He noted that some people might also have an immune globulin treatment, which strengthens the immune system, in the two weeks following exposure.


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Explore the causes and complications of Hepatitis E virus.

Explore the causes and complications of Hepatitis E virus.

A contagious virus called hepatitis E affects the liver and damages and inflames it. This could eventually result in severe consequences in some persons. Hepatitis E is typically easy to treat, and many patients do not require medical intervention.

Hepatitis E is more frequent than individuals might think, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The virus will infect roughly 20% of Americans at some time in their lives, according to recent studies. Areas with limited access to clean water might have a higher prevalence of it.

It can spread in a number of ways, but the most frequent ones are through contaminated water and undercooked meat. Hepatitis E symptoms can differ, although they can occasionally be severe. The best defence against hepatitis E is prevention.

Symptoms of hepatitis E

Following HEV exposure, the incubation period lasts between two and ten weeks, on average between five and six. The virus is excreted by the infected individuals from a few days before to 3–4 weeks after the commencement of the illness.

Young adults between the ages of 15 and 40 are most frequently infected with symptoms in regions with high disease endemicity. Although infections do affect children in these places, they frequently go misdiagnosed because they frequently show no symptoms or simply a minor illness without jaundice.

The following are typical hepatitis signs and symptoms:

  • an initial stage characterised by a brief period of mild fever, reduced appetite (anorexia), nausea, and vomiting;
  • joint discomfort, skin rash, itching, or stomach ache;
  • A slightly enlarged, painful liver, black urine, and pale faeces are all symptoms of jaundice (a yellowing of the skin) (hepatomegaly).

These symptoms typically last 1-6 weeks and are often difficult to distinguish from those brought on by other liver disorders.

Rarely, acute hepatitis E can become fulminant and be extremely severe (acute liver failure). These patients run the risk of passing away. Hepatitis E in pregnancy increases the risk of severe liver failure, foetal loss, and mortality, especially in the second and third trimesters. If they contract hepatitis E during the third trimester, up to 20–25% of pregnant women risk dying.

Immunosuppressed individuals, particularly organ transplant recipients using immunosuppressive medications, have been found to have cases of persistent genotype 3 or genotype 4 HEV infection. These are still rare.

What causes hepatitis E?

The majority of hepatitis E cases are brought on by consuming water that has been tainted by faeces. You have a higher risk if you reside in or travel to unsanitary nations. This is especially true in locations that are crowded.

Hepatitis E can also, albeit rarely, be spread through the consumption of animal products. Additionally, blood transfusions can result in its transmission. The virus can potentially infect a pregnant mother and spread to the foetus.

After a few weeks, most infections resolve on their own. The virus also results in liver failure in some cases.

Complications and risk of hepatitis E

Though uncommon, complications are possible. This is especially true for vulnerable populations. The possibility of developing a persistent form of the infection, neurological diseases, severe liver damage, or even deadly liver failure, are all complications.

One significant at-risk population is women who are pregnant. Both the parent and maybe the unborn child might be impacted by hepatitis E. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus has a death incidence of up to 20–25% among pregnant women in the third trimester.

Additionally, those with a history of chronic liver illness or liver disorders may be more at risk for developing hepatitis E. Immunosuppressive medication users who additionally have a liver transplant may potentially be more vulnerable to problems.

Diagnosis of hepatitis E

Hepatitis E cannot currently be diagnosed using any officially recognised test. Doctors must rely on tests to detect the antibodies that fight the virus in order to correctly diagnose hepatitis E. They will also examine the blood for hepatitis A, B, and C, among other hepatitis strains.

Doctors may conclude that a patient has the illness if they test negative for various types of hepatitis but also have the antibodies needed to combat hepatitis E in their body.

Treatment of hepatitis E

Hepatitis E rarely requires medical attention, as the body naturally gets rid of the virus. However, medical professionals could suggest a few measures to help the body while it is fighting the illness.

These consist of:

  • eating a nutritious, diversified diet
  • consuming a lot of liquids, particularly water
  • resting
  • avoiding things like alcohol that irritate the liver

Additionally, doctors might inquire about any medications that a patient is taking. The liver may be harmed by some.

While a patient is recovering from the infection, doctors may examine a patient’s drug regimen to determine whether it can be reduced or stopped altogether. The same is true for numerous vitamins and supplements.

As the body heals, it’s also crucial for patients to visit their doctor frequently. In order to establish whether the body can combat the illness, the doctor may use blood tests to monitor treatment progress or examine for any physical changes.

Doctors may occasionally recommend drugs to treat hepatitis E. People who have an infection that is particularly severe may experience this more frequently. Rarely, a person could need to be hospitalised. Hepatitis E infections that manifest in members of at-risk groups may be one of these situations.

Prevention from hepatitis E

The best method to avoid contracting hepatitis E and any potential problems is to prevent it. Make sure to only consume cleaned water when visiting underdeveloped nations or busy places with dirty water. The simplest method to achieve this is to always drink bottled water.

All water use in these locations must follow the same rules. Use bottled water for all purposes, including food preparation, fruit and vegetable cleaning, and tooth brushing.

The virus will be rendered inactive by boiling or chlorinating water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those who are worried about catching the illness might also want to stay away from wild game like deer and raw meats like pork.

No vaccination in the United States has received official approval, as the CDC points out. However, a vaccination was authorised for use in China in 2012 there.

It’s also crucial to stop the virus from spreading. Even though it is rare for the virus to spread between people, anyone who has it should be careful and practise good cleanliness. These consist of, for instance, washing one’s hands with warm water after using the restroom and before preparing food.


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Cirrhosis: Important causes and symptoms you need to know.

Cirrhosis: Important causes and symptoms you need to know.

A late-stage liver condition called cirrhosis causes the liver to become irreversibly damaged when good liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue. Your liver cannot function correctly because of scar tissue.

Numerous disorders and diseases of the liver harm healthy liver cells, leading to cell death and inflammation. Cell repair comes next, and the end outcome of the repair process is tissue scarring.

The scar tissue reduces the liver’s capacity to handle nutrients, hormones, medicines, and natural toxins and limits blood flow through the liver (poisons). Additionally, it reduces the liver’s ability to produce proteins and other chemicals. Over time, cirrhosis prevents the liver from functioning normally. Cirrhosis in its advanced stages is fatal.

The stages of cirrhosis

Technically speaking, cirrhosis symptoms can be divided into two stages: compensated cirrhosis and decompensated cirrhosis. It is feasible to transition from the decompensated to the compensated stage if discovered and treated in a timely manner.

  • Compensated cirrhosis. The asymptomatic stage is when there are no symptoms present. The liver may still have some scarring, but it hasn’t become severe enough to produce many, if any, symptoms.
  • Decompensated cirrhosis. The majority of the symptoms, including ascites and jaundice, manifest during this period. This level is really serious. In certain cases, you may be able to turn your diagnosis back to compensated if you’re able to control the cause of cirrhosis in the first place (for example, heavy drinking).

Symptoms of cirrhosis

At initially, you might not experience any symptoms. However, as time passes and the harm to your liver worsens, you can start to notice:

Additionally, you can bleed readily, bruise easily, and experience belly or leg swelling. Additionally, you might see modifications in your skin, like:

  • Jaundice (when your skin and eyes turn yellow) (when your skin and eyes turn yellow)
  • strong itching
  • Skin blood vessels that resemble a web of spiders
  • Your hands’ palms turning red or your nails turning white

You might have certain mental changes, such as memory or attention issues. It’s possible for women to cease getting their periods. Men may lose their desire for sex, begin to develop breasts, or experience some testicular atrophy.

Other signs you can experience include:

You might not have all of these symptoms, and some of these issues could also be indicators of other diseases.

Causes and risk of cirrhosis

Always, another liver condition or illness leads to the development of cirrhosis. If the cirrhosis’ underlying cause is not addressed, it will worsen and eventually your healthy liver cells won’t be able to keep up. You can begin to experience fatigue, the urge to skip meals, and unintentional weight loss. Your liver may eventually lose its ability to function well or at all.

Knowing the origin of your cirrhosis is crucial for determining the best course of treatment and preventing further progression. The most frequent reasons include:

  • Abuse of alcohol. It’s critical to seek assistance if you have a drinking issue. The liver is harmed by alcohol. Consult your physician. They might suggest a treatment centre for you.
  • Fatty liver disease without alcohol. Obesity increases your risk of developing this illness. If this illness is the source of your cirrhosis, losing weight and managing your blood sugar levels may help your liver health.
  • Hepatitis B or hepatitis C. The treatment for these illnesses can prevent further liver damage.

The following conditions can also result in cirrhosis:

  • Dysplastic fibrosis
  • health conditions that make it difficult for your body to metabolise sugar
  • Having too much iron in your body
  • Wilson’s illness, in which the liver accumulates too much copper
  • illnesses that trigger your immune system to assault liver cells
  • the bile duct, which transports digestive enzymes from your liver to your intestines, is blocked
  • certain gastrointestinal genetic disorders

How cirrhosis is diagnosed?

A thorough history and physical examination are the first steps in cirrhosis diagnosis. A thorough medical history will be taken by your doctor.

If you have a history of chronic alcohol abuse, hepatitis C exposure, autoimmune disease in your family, or any other risk factors, you should be as honest as you can about them.

The physical examination will search for indicators like:

  • eyes or skin that appear to be more yellow
  • flamboyant palms
  • Hand trembling
  • an enlarged spleen or liver
  • decreased vigilance

The extent of the liver damage can be determined via tests. Among the tests used to assess cirrhosis are:

  • an examination of anaemia using a complete blood count
  • blood testing for coagulation to determine how rapidly blood clots
  • tests for albumin, a protein produced in the liver,
  • testing for liver function
  • Alpha fetoprotein, a test for liver cancer

The following additional tests can assess the liver:

  • an upper endoscopy to check for the presence of esophageal varices
  • a liver ultrasound examination
  • an abdomen-related MRI
  • an abdominal CT scan
  • The most accurate test for cirrhosis is a liver biopsy.

Preventing cirrhosis

Hepatitis B or C risk can be decreased by engaging in barrier-method intercourse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that all newborns and adults who are at risk, such as medical professionals and first responders, receive the hepatitis B vaccine.

Cirrhosis can be avoided or slowed down by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption. Other preventative strategies comprise:

  • Eliminating illicit drugs
  • discussing any drugs you take with your doctor, taking them as directed
  • getting tested for heptitis if you think you could be susceptible to it


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Important factors of Hepatitis C you need to know.

Important factors of Hepatitis C you need to know.

After contracting the hepatitis C virus, you experience hepatitis C, an inflammation of the liver. This virus is bloodborne, which means that the only way to spread or get it is through blood that has the virus in it.

Acute or chronic hepatitis C are both possible.

  • Acute hepatitis C: Many times, acute hepatitis C has no symptoms at all. Any symptoms you do have may start to show up a week or two after exposure. They may go away on their own in a matter of weeks.
  • Chronic hepatitis C: On the other hand, chronic hepatitis C symptoms may emerge (and worsen) over the course of months or even years. Sometimes symptoms don’t show up until they’re quite bad.

Around 58 million people worldwide are thought to have chronic hepatitis C, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Hepatitis C is one of the most prevalent hepatitis kinds in the United States, along with hepatitis A and B. A vaccination to prevent hepatitis C does not yet exist, in contrast to those for hepatitis A and B.

If untreated, hepatitis C can result in serious, sometimes fatal health issues, such as:

  • cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
  • liver damage
  • liver tumour

However, hepatitis C is typically curable. Rapid testing and treatment can lessen your risk of developing severe symptoms and liver failure.

Symptoms of hepatitis C


Most sufferers of acute hepatitis C don’t exhibit any symptoms. If they do, symptoms usually start to manifest two to twelve weeks following exposure. Acute hepatitis C is rarely diagnosed since there are no clear signs. As a result, physicians frequently refer to hepatitis C as the silent pandemic.

The severe symptoms resemble those of other viral illnesses quite closely. Acute hepatitis C symptoms include:

  • the fever
  • fatigue
  • abdomen ache
  • reduced appetite
  • dizziness or vomiting
  • dark faeces
  • stool in a shade of clay
  • joints hurt
  • jaundice, hardly ever

These illnesses frequently only last a few weeks and are minor. You might not require medical therapy if you have acute hepatitis C. This is because your body can sometimes fight the illness on its own.

It’s possible that you won’t even be aware of having the illness if you don’t exhibit any symptoms. Even though you may not be experiencing any symptoms, you can still spread the infection to others.


Acute hepatitis C will progress to chronic hepatitis if your body cannot rid itself of the hepatitis C virus. Of those who have hepatitis C, between 55 and 85% go on to have chronic hepatitis C.

Without treatment, the chronic type of hepatitis C won’t go away on its own, and your symptoms may worsen. There may be long-term health effects from these symptoms. They might potentially result in liver cancer and long-term liver damage.

Chronic hepatitis C symptoms include:

  • chronic fatigue
  • a general sense of being sick
  • Aches and pains in muscles and joints
  • unaccounted weight loss
  • mood swings, including depressive or anxious thoughts
  • difficulty paying attention or remembering things

The chronic type of the illness won’t always result in immediately noticeable symptoms, similar to acute hepatitis C. You should get tested as soon as you can if you have any of the aforementioned symptoms and think you may have been exposed to the virus.

Causes of hepatitis C

Blood-to-blood contact is how the virus is spread. In other words, if the blood of a person who has hepatitis C comes into touch with your blood, you could contract the virus. This could occur because of:

  • transplantation of organs
  • sharing goods like toothbrushes and razors
  • sharing syringes
  • childbirth (the person giving birth can spread the infection to the infant) 
    the exchange of blood during sexual intercourse
  • piercing or getting a tattoo using non-sterile tools
  • If you’ve already had the virus, you could get it again.

Blood transfusions were thought to be a very plausible source of hepatitis C virus transmission before 1992. You now have a far lower probability of catching the virus through a transfusion because to medical advancements in blood screening.

You could be at an increased risk of transmission if you:

  • before 1992, you had a blood transfusion
  • had a transplanted organ before 1992
  • received blood products or clotting factor concentrates prior to 1987
  • received long-term hemodialysis treatment
  • hepatitis C-positive mother gave birth to them
  • had a hepatitis C-infected sexual partner
  • used needles that weren’t sterile

You can avoid spreading hepatitis C by:

  • kissing, embracing, or otherwise touching
  • feeding your infant
  • sharing meals and beverages
  • sneeze and coughing

Is hepatitis C curable?

Hepatitis C infections, whether acute or chronic, are frequently fully curable. (Keep in mind, though, that you still risk getting the virus again.)

Antiviral medication-based therapy can effectively treat hepatitis C 95% of the time. When tests no longer show the virus in your blood 12 weeks after the conclusion of treatment, medical specialists will consider you to be cured.

How is hepatitis C treated?

Hepatitis C patients do not always require therapy. Your immune system might be strong enough to successfully combat the illness and eliminate the virus from your body. Medication is typically effective in treating the illness if your immune system is unable to eradicate the infection.

Hepatitis C medications

Hepatitis C can be treated with a wide range of drugs. Antivirals are the most common type of treatment, while Riboviria may also be recommended if other measures have failed.

Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), a class of medications, work to completely eradicate the hepatitis C virus from your body. It also assist in the prevention of liver damage.

Several of the brands of these medicines include:

  • Zepatier
  • Harvoni
  • Epclusa
  • Vosevi
  • Mavyret

Hepatitis C has been classified into 6 distinct genotypes, or strains, by researchers.

Knowing your genotype will help your doctor or other healthcare provider decide which drug will work best for you. Your genotype may have an impact on the kind of treatments you can receive because some strains have acquired a tolerance to some drugs.


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Important causes and symptoms of Hepatitis B.

Important causes and symptoms of Hepatitis B.

What is hepatitis B?

A liver infection known as hepatitis B is brought on by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). One of the five varieties of viral hepatitis is HBV. Hepatitis A, C, D, and E make up the other four. Each one is a distinct kind of virus. The most likely types to develop chronic or long-lasting are types B and C.

Around 296 million individuals worldwide are thought to be infected with hepatitis B, according to the World Health Organization. In 2019, around 1.5 million new cases of chronic hepatitis B were reported.

Acute or chronic HBV infection are both possible. Adults with acute hepatitis B experience sudden onset of symptoms. Rarely do newborns who receive hepatitis B at birth simply experience acute symptoms. The majority of baby hepatitis B infections progress to chronic disease.

What are the types of hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B infections come in two flavours: acute and chronic.


When you contract hepatitis B for the first time, an acute infection occurs. Many people can get it out of their bodies and feel better. In fact, roughly 4 out of 5 sick adults fit this description.


You have chronic hepatitis B if you are unable to get rid of the virus within six months or longer. (Chronic denotes continual.) The dangerous, sometimes fatal diseases of liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver are caused by chronic hepatitis B, which also causes inflammation. Treatment can halt the progression of the condition, lower the risk of developing liver cancer, and improve survival rates.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis B?

Acute hepatitis B symptoms can not show up for several months. However, typical signs include:

An early evaluation is required for any hepatitis B symptoms. Acute hepatitis B symptoms worsen in those over 60. If you believe you may have been exposed to hepatitis B, tell your doctor right once. It’s possible that you can stop an infection.

How common is hepatitis B?

According to the WHO, around 296 million people around the globe live with chronic HBV. Around 1.5 million new infections occur every year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic hepatitis B affects approximately 1.2 million people in the United States.

But HBV often goes undetected. In fact, the WHO estimates that only about 10.5% of people living with hepatitis B were aware of their condition as of 2019.

Causes and risk factors for hepatitis B

A viral infection called hepatitis B can be spread by blood or other body fluids like vaginal or sperm.

Hepatitis B can be spread, among other things, by:

  • having intercourse without using a condom or other barrier techniques with a person who has HBV
  • sharing blood-contaminated razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes
  • getting a tattoo or a body piercing with unsterilized equipment
  • sharing needles, syringes, or other supplies while injecting narcotics
  • from a parent giving birth to a newborn child

Although the virus may be found in the saliva, hepatitis B is not transmitted through:

  • kissing
  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • sharing cutlery

HBV infection is more likely to occur in some groups than others. These comprise of:

  • medical professionals
  • users of injectable medications
  • infants conceived by HBV-positive parents
  • HBV-positive individuals’ sexual partners
  • people with renal disease who are on dialysis

Complications of hepatitis B

Chronic hepatitis B complications include:

  • the hepatitis D virus
  • hepatic scarring (cirrhosis)
  • liver damage
  • liver tumour
  • death

Only those who have hepatitis B can get hepatitis D. Although hepatitis D is rare in the US, it can also cause chronic liver disease.


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What are the possible ways to prevent Hepatitis A?

What are the possible ways to prevent Hepatitis A?

The hepatitis A virus, which causes hepatitis A, causes liver inflammation (HAV). When an uninfected (and unvaccinated) individual consumes food or water that has been tainted by an infected person’s faeces, the virus is most commonly disseminated. Oral-anal sex, contaminated food or water, poor sanitation, poor personal hygiene, and these factors are all strongly linked to the disease.

Hepatitis A can induce crippling symptoms and, less frequently, fulminant hepatitis (rapid liver failure), which is frequently fatal. Hepatitis A does not cause chronic liver disease, unlike hepatitis B and C. According to WHO estimates, 7134 people worldwide passed away with hepatitis A in 2016 (which accounts for 0.5% of the mortality from viral hepatitis).

Hepatitis A is sporadic and prevalent over the world, with a propensity for cyclical recurrences. Contaminated food or water-related epidemics can break out violently, as was the case with the pandemic in Shanghai in 1988 that impacted around 300,000 people. Additionally, they have the potential to spread from person to person, devastating communities for months at a time. Hepatitis A viruses can withstand food production techniques that are often intended to kill or control bacterial diseases and persist in the environment.

Hepatitis A Symptoms

If you have this infection, your liver is inflamed because of the virus. Numerous children, in particular, lack symptoms in some persons. Others may have:

  • Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin)
  • belly ache
  • dark urine
  • reduced appetite
  • uneasy stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Light-colored faeces
  • aching joints
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue

Although they may recur for up to six months, these issues often go away after around two months. Even if you feel healthy, the hepatitis A virus can still be transferred. Additionally, you can spread it in the two weeks prior to and the first week following the onset of your symptoms.

What causes hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A infections occur in people who have HAV. Typically, this virus is spread by consuming food or beverage that has been tainted with faeces that have the virus in them. Once it has been distributed, the virus enters the bloodstream and travels to the liver, where it produces swelling and inflammation.

HAV can be transferred by direct contact with an infected individual in addition to through the consumption of contaminated food or water. A person with hepatitis A can easily infect others residing in the same home since HAV is infectious.

Hepatitis A can be acquired by:

  • eating food prepared by a hepatitis A carrier
  • consuming food that has been prepared by staff members whose hands haven’t been thoroughly washed before handling it.
  • consuming raw seafood that has been tainted with sewage
  • a sexual relationship with a hepatitis A patient
  • consuming contaminated water
  • interacting with faeces that are hepatitis A-infected

Before any symptoms even show, you will be infectious if you get the virus. After symptoms start, the infectious period lasts for around 1 week.

Who is at risk of getting hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that often spreads from person to person. However, a few things can make you more likely to have it, like:

  • residing (or staying for an extended period of time) in a region where hepatitis A is widespread, such as the majority of nations with subpar sanitation or inadequate access to safe water
  • drug injection or drug use
  • living with a hepatitis A-positive person in the same home
  • having intercourse with a hepatitis A positive person (barrier measures don’t effectively stop the spread of hepatitis A)
  • an HIV-positive status
  • involving non-human primates in work

By the age of 10, more than 90% of kids in nations with poor sanitation will have contracted hepatitis A, according to a trusted source from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Is there any way to prevent hepatitis A?

Getting the hepatitis A vaccine is the best strategy to prevent contracting hepatitis A. Two shots of this vaccination are administered in a series, six to twelve months apart.

Get your immunisation at least two weeks before your trip if you’re going somewhere where hepatitis A transmission is more prevalent. After the first injection, your body typically takes two weeks to begin developing hepatitis A immunity. It is recommended to receive both injections prior to departure if you won’t be travelling for at least a year.

If you want to know if you need to obtain a hepatitis A vaccination, check the CDC website for your location. In order to reduce your risk of acquiring hepatitis A, you should also:

  • Be sure to fully wash your hands after using the bathroom and before consuming anything.
  • If you live in a developing nation or a nation where you have a high risk of catching hepatitis A, you should drink bottled water rather than tap water.
  • eat at well-known, respected restaurants as opposed to street stalls.
  • Avoid consuming unwashed or uncooked produce in unsanitary or unhygienic environments.