Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection by five known strains of hepatitis virus (A, B, C, D and E). Here are a few ways that you can get hepatitis.
Sharing household items: Household items such as razors, nail cutters, toothbrush and earrings of an infected person may be contaminated with small amounts of blood that can infect you too.
Tattoos and body piercings: Getting a tattoo or a body piercing from a place that does not use fresh, sterilised needles for every client increases your chances of getting hepatitis.
Acupuncture: This form of Chinese medicine may bring relief to your medical problems but it involves the use of needles, which in turn puts you at a high risk for hepatitis.
Prenatal transmission: Women infected with hepatitis virus pass it on to their children during childbirth.
Organ donation: There is a risk of contracting hepatitis during organ donation if the organs are not screened beforehand.
Contact with infected blood or bodily fluids: Healthcare practitioners who draw blood or other bodily fluids from an infected person are also at risk of getting hepatitis.
Medications: Medicines that can damage the liver when frequently taken in high doses can cause an inflammation of the liver. A combination of such medicines with alcohol can worsen the effects.
Unsterilised needles : Sharing unsterilised needles such as a syringe or an intravenous drug equipment with a person infected with hepatitis is the most common route of infection.
Blood transfusion: Ensure that the blood you receive during blood transfusion is screened for hepatitis.
Sex: Sex with an infected person is the most common way of spreading of hepatitis B virus. Anal sex or oral to anal contact also puts you at risk for hepatitis A. Homosexual men have a high chance of getting hepatitis.
Contaminated food and water: Consumption of water contaminated with faeces or food cooked in contaminated water is a common route for the spread of hepatitis A.
Unclean hands: You can get hepatitis A from an infected person who doesn't wash hands after using the bathroom. Not washing hands after using the bathroom or after changing a baby's diaper can increase the risk of hepatitis.
Alcohol: One of the long-term damages of excessive drinking is an inflammation of the liver leading to alcoholic hepatitis.