Each October, Hepatitis Awareness Week helps spread the word about this contagious viral infection. Recent news of a hepatitis A outbreak of more than 400 cases in San Diego may have brought the disease to mind. Many feel that they’re not at risk if they don’t use drugs or have unprotected sex. That’s actually untrue.
How much do you really know about hepatitis?
There Are Five Types of Hepatitis
#1 – Hepatitis A is caused by fecal contamination or person-to-person contact. If you eat a food that was watered using an infected source of water, you could be at risk. If someone with hepatitis A went to the bathroom, didn’t wash his or her hands after wiping, and then touched a handle, you could pick up the virus that way.
#2 – Hepatitis B – Hep B is spread through body fluids. While sexual contact is one way, it’s possible to also get the disease by sharing a needle, toothbrush, or razor. A mother can give hepatitis B to her unborn child. Caring for someone’s wounds without wearing protective gloves is another possibility.
#3 – Hepatitis C – Hepatitis C is spread through contact with infected blood. If you had a blood transfusion before screen procedures were used, there’s a risk of having hepatitis C. Many doctors recommend men and women born between 1945 and 1965 get tested.
#4 – Hepatitis D – Hepatitis D appears only if you have hepatitis B, too. It’s spread through blood and other body fluids. Unlike hepatitis B, it’s rarely passed from mother to child.
#5 – Hepatitis E – Hepatitis E is not common in the U.S., but it is found in other countries. It’s spread through fecal matter that gets into water and food supplies. In most cases, it only lasts up to six weeks and then the virus dies off.
Hepatitis Doesn’t Have to be a Fatal Illness
Hepatitis does damage the liver, but it doesn’t have to end your life. Vaccines help prevent the disease from being spread to you. If you have hepatitis, there are treatments that can reverse or delay the damage the virus causes.
Home Care Helps the Body Rest and Recover From the Disease
Elderly men and women who have hepatitis need help at home. Taking medications on time is important. It’s also likely that they’ll be tired and want to rest as much as possible. By having a caregiver on hand to help with laundry and housework, people with hepatitis can get the rest they need.
Proper nutrition is also important in helping men and women with hepatitis. A home care provider can prepare nutritious meals and help with exercise programs. Learn more by discussing the benefits of home care with an agency near you.
Have questions about hiring a caregiver in Lahaina, HI? Contact the caring staff at All Care Hawaii today. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Call Oahu (808) 206-8409 or Maui (808) 664-3853.
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