Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by viruses. Other infections, toxic substances such as alcohol, certain drugs, drug abuse and autoimmune diseases also cause the disease. Hepatitis can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis or liver cancer.
HCV (hepatitis C virus) causes hepatitis C. You can become infected if the blood of someone infected with HCV enters your skin, eyes or mouth. You are at risk for hepatitis C if you inject street drugs or share a needle with someone; share personal items such as toothbrushes and razors with someone with HCV; have unprotected sex; receive a tattoo or acupuncture with needles not disinfected properly after use on another person; have regular contact with blood, such as a health care worker; receive long-term kidney dialysis; were born to a mother with hepatitis C; receive an organ transplant from a person with HCV; or received a blood transfusion in the United States before 1992.
Most people who are recently infected with hepatitis C do not have symptoms, although some experience yellowing of the skin (jaundice) that goes away. Chronic infection often causes no symptoms, but tiredness, skin disorders and other problems can occur. Long-term infection often causes no symptoms until the liver becomes scarred (cirrhosis); most individuals with this condition are ill and many have pre-existing health problems.
Symptoms of hepatitis C include pain in the upper right abdomen, abdominal swelling, clay-colored or pale stools, dark urine, fatigue, fever, itching, loss of appetite, and nausea and vomiting. Contact your health care provider if you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with hepatitis C.
Two blood tests check for HCV: the EIA assay detects HCV antibody, and the hepatitis C RNA measures virus levels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone born from 1945 to 1965 get a one-time test for hepatitis C, since people born in these years are five times more likely to be infected. Genetic testing can check for the type of hepatitis C (there are six types); test results help the doctor choose the correct treatment. Additional tests — albumin level, liver function, blood-clotting time and liver biopsy — identify and monitor liver damage.
Treatment includes peginterferon and antiviral drugs that help the body get rid of the virus and reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. For best results, take medications as directed. A good response to treatment occurs when the virus is no longer detected in the blood. A liver transplant may be recommended for persons who develop cirrhosis and liver cancer. As new and more effective medications are developed, more people with HCV avoid serious liver damage and liver cancer.
Currently there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. To prevent its spread, do not share needles with anyone, only receive tattoos and body piercing from a state-licensed technician, practice safer sex, and do not share personal items such as razors and toothbrushes.
Hepatitis D (HDV) infects 15 million people worldwide and spreads through contact with infected blood. It causes symptoms only in people who have hepatitis B and sometimes in those who carry hepatitis B but never had symptoms.
Risk factors include abusing intravenous or injected drugs, being infected while pregnant (the mother can pass it to the baby), carrying the hepatitis B virus and receiving many blood transfusions. Men who have intercourse with other men are also at risk. HDV worsens the symptoms of hepatitis B. Symptoms include abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, jaundice, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of hepatitis B. You may need anti-delta agent antigen, liver biopsy and blood tests to assess liver enzymes. Many of the medications to treat hepatitis B are not effective in treating HDV. You may receive the medication alpha interferon for up to 12 months for a long-term HDV infection. A liver transplant for end-stage chronic hepatitis B may be effective.
People with acute HDV infection most often get better in two to three weeks. Liver enzymes return to normal within 16 weeks. About one in 10 of those infected develop long-term liver inflammation. Possible complications include chronic active hepatitis and severe inflammation of the liver leading to liver failure.
Prevent hepatitis D by detecting and treating hepatitis B infection as soon as possible, getting vaccinated and avoiding IV drug abuse and sharing needles. Adults and children at high risk for hepatitis B infection should receive the hepatitis B vaccine.
Hepatitis E spreads through food and water contaminated by feces from an infected person. Although uncommon in the United States, waterborne outbreaks have occurred in South and Central Asia, tropical East Asia, Africa and Central America. Outbreaks can involve hundreds to thousands of people. Those most likely to be exposed to hepatitis E include international travelers, particularly those traveling from developing countries; those living where hepatitis E outbreaks are common; and those who live with or have sex with an infected person.
Hepatitis E usually resolves on its own in several weeks to months. Globally, about 20 million incidents of hepatitis E occur every year. There is no vaccine; reduce exposure by avoiding tap water when traveling in developing countries and practicing good hand sanitation.
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.
To allow visitors to safely and responsibly enjoy their trip to Barbados, the island announced streamlined port entry protocols. Barbados’ Ministry of Health and Wellness released the following protocols for all travelers planning on coming to the island.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
Mar Del Cabo launched a new luxury beach fishing experience with an interactive paella workshop for guests. The Los Cabos-based hotel offers guests an immersive experience that takes them through the journey of creating paella, starting with a fishing session.
COJE Management Group raised the bar when it comes to cuisine and cocktails. The Boston-based group, founded by Chris Jamison and Mark Malatesta, offers guests the ultimate dining experience with old-world hospitality and an array of cuisines for every guest to enjoy. With culinary director Tom Berry incorporating the cuisines he encountered during his travels to South America, Cuba, Japan, Southeast Asia and France, each restaurant has distinguished itself as a must for anyone visiting Boston and each is designed exclusively in-house using inspiration from different regions and countries around the world.
Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.