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Friday, 09 December 2016 15:38

Hepatitis

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Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver and can have different causes. Viral hepatitis is caused by five different types of viruses, type A to type E. However, types A, B and C are the most common. The prognosis includes liver cancer, cirrhosis, extreme fatigue, vertigo and jaundice.

Hepatitis A is transmitted via the faeco-oral route or through contaminated water or food. It does not lead to chronic long term liver disease.

Hepatitis B is transmitted via sexual contact, blood-to-blood contact such as infected needles and from mother-to-child during childbirth. It leads to chronic disease, usually liver cirrhosis and cancer. Symptoms include aches and pains, abdominal discomfort and hematuria. Once contracted 95% of adults will clear the virus and not develop chronic hepatitis B. There are two drug treatments, i.e. anti-viral medication, and peginterferon alfa or interferon alfa exhibiting immune-modulatory properties.

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which is transmitted through infected needles or contaminated equipment. Although it is slow acting, it results in serious disease such as liver cancer.

Hepatitis D is transmitted through mucosal contact with infectious blood and can be acquired either as a co-infection with hepatitis B virus or as superinfection in people with hepatitis B virus infection. On the other hand, hepatitis E, like type A, is transmitted via the faeco-oral route.

As Desidius Erasmus said, Prevention is better than cure. Preventive measures are vital to combat these viruses. Vaccination is available against hepatitis A and B. Vaccines are not yet available for hepatitis C although some candidate vaccines are being studied. Sanitising hands and avoiding contaminated water are also essential at combating viral hepatitis.

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  • AVAILABLE CLINICS

    Rational Pharmacy, Valley Road, B'Kara requires consultants & family doctors for early morning & afternoon sessions.

    Please contact 99891732 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

    Written on October 09, 2017
  • Free Clinic Rooms Available

    Pharmasal, a chain of 6 retail pharmacies has a number of free clinic rooms available within the pharmacies in Tarxien, St. Paul’s Bay, Zejtun, and Dingli. We are looking to increase our list of family doctors and specialists. Family doctors are given preference for the clinic at Zejtun.  For more information, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call on 99425939.

    Written on October 18, 2017

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