June 29th, 2011 |
Hepatitis A Testing, Hepatitis A Treatment
In most of the developed world, hepatitis A testing isn’t a common procedure. That’s because most people are vaccinated for the disease early in life and aren’t exposed to it unless they travel to a developing country.
In fact, Hepatitis A is one of the milder strands of the hepatitis virus:
- Hepatitis A causes death in fewer than .5 percent of people infected;
- 90 percent of those infected in childhood never have signs or symptoms;
- Of those infected in adulthood, only 10 – 15 percent have multiple outbreaks.
Q. What Is the Current Status of Hepatitis A?
A: Hepatitis A is common in parts of the world without high hygiene standards or secure access to clean water. In developed countries, hepatitis A testing is usually only performed on those who show symptoms, have traveled to a developing country, or were not vaccinated for the disease in childhood.
Q. How Is Hepatitis A Transmitted?
A: This type of hepatitis is usually spread through contact with contaminated water or the feces of a person who is contaminated. This is why hepatitis A has higher rates of infection in countries without modern plumbing.
Q. How is Hepatitis A Treated?
A: The good news is that contact with Hepatitis A in childhood (whether through environmental exposure or a vaccine) gives a person long-term immunity to the disease. For this reason, the acute form of the disease is seen most often in adults who have no immunity and contract the disease during travel.
Because the disease usually diminishes on its own, hepatitis A treatment addresses mainly the symptoms.
Q. What Are the Symptoms of Hepatitis A?
A: Many people infected never go in for hepatitis A testing because they show no symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they generally hit within two to six weeks of infection and include:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice (yellowing) of the skin or eyes
- Amber-colored urine
- Clay-colored feces.
Q. Is Hepatitis A an STD?
A: It’s rare for Hepatitis A to be spread sexually, and most STD testing facilities don’t check for the disease. In fact, the hepatitis A test is not classified as an STD test at all. If your symptoms seem to match those for hepatitis A and you meet the criteria for people at risk, consult your doctor about hepatitis A testing.
June 21st, 2011 |
Hepatitis A Fast Facts, Hepatitis B Fast Facts, Hepatitis C Fast Facts
Viral hepatitis got some much-needed attention from the National Prevention Strategy announced by government health insiders this week. The NPS is a call to action for all levels of government as well as private businesses. It highlights a need for comprehensive prevention and treatment of a number of conditions.
Specifically, the strategy draws attention to the need for:
- Increased funds for STD testing facilities and birth control programs;
- Education for all ages about preventing and treating STDs;
- Prevention of drug abuse, a major contributor to the spread of viral hepatitis;
- Increased funds for affordable housing;
- Prevention of domestic violence; and
- Promotion of mental health.
A Small Win for Viral Hepatitis
In recent months, increased viral hepatitis infection rates have led some health workers to label it “the silent epidemic.” Though viral hepatitis affects about five times as many Americans as HIV, the latter gets more than 70 times more funding from the federal government.
And it’s a silent disease that’s fairly easy to treat if caught early with an STD test. But because few people have symptoms of viral hepatitis until later stages of the illness, treatment remains a challenge.
November 22nd, 2010 |
Hepatitis A Treatment
Generally, gonorrhea is an easily curable sexually transmitted disease, but the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria has made this disease increasingly difficult to treat. Currently, there is only remaining class of antibiotic left that is recommended to treat gonorrhea making it an emerging public health concern. Gonorrhea has gradually become resistant to the antibiotics penicillin, tetracycline, and ciprofloxacin.
The antibiotics that are currently prescribed, ceftriaxone and cefixime, are very effective, but the bacterium that causes gonorrhea is highly mutable and capable of acquiring resistance to these drugs. There is evidence that the bacterium may develop a resistance, so it is important for researchers to closely monitor antibiotic resistance to N. gonorrhoeae and continue to research new treatment regimens.
Gonorrhea is an easily preventable STD with latex condoms. If infected, early detection is critical. Many people do not experience symptoms and if left untreated, gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility in women and in men, it can lead to epididymitis, a painful condition of the testicles that can cause infertility if untreated. Since symptoms are often silent, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends annual testing for gonorrhea.