Viral Hepatitis

Dr Kulwant Singh

Primary infection of the liver caused by a small group of viruses (hepatotropic viruses) having a particular affinity for the liver is known as Viral Hepatitis.

HAV causes benign self limited, acute, transient infectious hepatitis. It does not lead to chronic hepatitis or a carrier state and only rarely does it cause massive liver necrosis (Fulminant Hepatitis)

Year of Identification: 1973

Morphology: HAV is a small, non enveloped virus, 27nm(nanometer) in diameter, cubical in shape and contains single stranded RNA.

Epidemiology: HAV occurs throughout the world and is endemic in countries with substandard hygiene and sanitation. Children are more commonly affected but severity increases with age. In India about 90% of children are serologically positive by 10 years of age. When the sanitation and hygiene is improved, the morbidity increases.

Incubation Period: 15-45 days

Mode of Infection:  Faecal-oral route: HAV is shed in the stool for 2-3 weeks before and 1 week after the onset of Jaundice. Thus close personal contact with an infected individual or faecal oral contamination during this period causes infection. This explains the occurrence of outbreaks in institutional settings such as schools and nurseries. HAV is spread by ingestion of contaminated water and food (esp. sea food).

Occasionally by infusion of infected blood or contaminated needle during the stage of transient viraemia.

Dr Kulwant Singh
Dean: Faculty of Homoeopathy, V B University, Hazaribag
Principal: S H Medical College & Hospital, Jamshedpur
[email protected]

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