Hepatitis A, B & C
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is the name for several different illnesses which all cause the same problem; an inflamed liver. If the liver does not function properly, it can cause serious illness or sometimes even death. Each Hepatitis virus is transmitted differently; therefore different preventative methods are required.
How can I avoid getting Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is transmitted through faecal matter, therefore personal hygiene is important. Wash hands carefully with soap and water after going to the toilet. People with active Hepatitis A should not prepare food for others until advised to do so by their doctors. A vaccination is available.
How can I avoid getting Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that is transmitted in a similar way to HIV. The virus is present in blood, semen, vaginal secretions and to a lesser extent the saliva of an infected person. It is more highly infectious than HIV, but those precautions that protect a person against HIV are also effective against Hepatitis B. A vaccination is available.
How can I avoid getting Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C was only identified in 1989 and there is still much to be learned. It is only present in blood and is transmitted predominantly through unsafe injecting practices, other skin penetration (tattooing, body piercing), or blood transfusions prior to 1990. There has never been a documented case of the sexual transmission of Hep C.
There is currently no vaccination available for Hepatitis C.
The information on Cleaning up blood spills and Infection and Blood Borne diseases is taken from pamphlets produced by the Victorian Government's Dept of Human Services.
Hepatitis A affects the liver From Better Health Channel website
Hepatitis B - the facts From Better Health Channel website
Hepatitis C - the facts From Better Health Channel website
Health Protection Unit
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