RAPID TEST for HEPATITIS A, B, and C
Take the rapid hepatitis test
The detection of Hepatitis antibodies is carried out through a blood sample. It is not necessary to go on an empty stomach or follow any instructions before the analysis.
Our doctor will solve any doubts you may have about a possible contagion or symptoms that you present.
Do not hesitate to take the test and ensure your health and that of those around you.
What is hepatitis and how is it transmitted?
Hepatitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by various causes such as:
- Viruses (viral hepatitis) and bacteria
- Consumption of alcohol, drugs, drugs, or poisonous mushrooms
- Dysfunction of the immune system that causes it to attack liver cells.
It is transmitted sexually (hepatitis B and C), through the blood (hepatitis B, C, D, F and G) and through the orofecal route through contact with the excrement of infected people or the consumption of infected food or water ( hepatitis A and E).
In many cases it is asymptomatic and goes unnoticed. Otherwise, the most common symptoms are tiredness, abdominal pain, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), lack of hunger, nausea, vomiting and fever.
The diagnosis can be made through a blood test, tests to determine liver function and in some cases liver biopsy to determine the degree of involvement.
Hepatitis can be treated within six months (acute hepatitis), or it can become chronic and lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Its evolution will depend on various factors such as the type of hepatitis, the existence of other diseases, etc. Some hepatitis can be prevented by vaccination (hepatitis A and B).
- Hepatitis A:
The hepatitis A virus is found in the stool of infected people and can be transmitted from person to person through dirty hands, after using the toilet or changing diapers (via the fecal route). It can also be spread through contaminated objects (toys, etc.) if they come into contact with the mouth.
Another form of transmission of the disease is through the ingestion of contaminated food and water (ice cubes, raw fruits and vegetables washed in infected water). Consumption of raw shellfish grown in polluted waters has also been a source of hepatitis A cases.
The virus is shed in the stool two weeks before and one week after the onset of the disease. Therefore, the risk of the infection spreading is highest in the two weeks before symptoms appear, but it decreases completely once jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) appears.
People with few or no symptoms can still spread the infection. Because infants and children with hepatitis A generally do not have any signs of illness and the infection is often unnoticed, it can easily spread in kindergartens, especially those with children under two years of age and still in diapers.
- Hepatitis B:
It is a disease caused by a virus (HBV or hepatitis B virus) that exclusively affects the liver. Most of those infected eliminate the virus and take care of themselves before six months without having any type of consequences and acquiring immunity (this is the case of acute hepatitis B).
But in certain cases, the body is unable to defeat the virus and this is when chronic hepatitis B occurs, which is often suffered without symptoms but can cause serious liver damage such as cirrhosis or cancer. The infected person then becomes a lifelong carrier of the disease and can transmit it to other people.
A healthy person can be infected when his blood comes into contact with the blood of a person infected with the hepatitis B virus. The most common causes of infection are:
- Blood transfusions (if a healthy person receives blood from an infected donor). This is not currently possible in Catalonia, since all donations are systematically analyzed.
- Needles with syringes that have been used by infected people (tattoos, acupuncture, drug use).
Contact with bodily fluids through unprotected sexual intercourse.
- Wounds, scratches and other injuries to the skin (when their blood comes into contact with the blood of an infected person).
- The fact of sharing personal hygiene objects, such as toothbrushes, razors, nail clippers, etc., with an infected person (although it is recommended never to share these objects for hygiene purposes).
- From mother to child at the time of delivery (in this mechanism it is called vertical transmission).
- Hepatitis C
It is an infectious disease that exclusively affects the liver and is caused by the hepatitis C virus, or HCV. Before this virus was identified in 1988, this disease was called non-A, non-B hepatitis.
20% of acute cases of hepatitis C are cured spontaneously, but 80% of those infected progress to chronic hepatitis, without suffering any symptoms, for many years. But although it progresses very slowly, the virus can progressively affect the liver.
Some cases that progress to chronicity can develop cirrhosis and, more rarely, liver cancer. These risks increase depending on various factors such as the ingestion of alcohol, the age of the sick person or the fact that they are coinfected by other viruses, and they decrease among women and if the infection occurs when they are young.
The hepatitis C virus can be acquired from the blood of an infected person, regardless of whether they have the active form of the disease (altered transaminases) or not. For this virus to infect a person, there must be a wound on the skin or a puncture that passes through it. Therefore, most infections are caused by sharing syringes, blades, toothbrushes or similar with infected people, or piercing, tattoos or acupuncture with contaminated instruments.
Other times contagion occurs from other body fluids such as semen, through unprotected sex with infected people. It is important to note that, although sexual transmission is rare among those infected only by the hepatitis C virus, coinfection with the human immunodeficiency virus increases the probability that the first virus is transmitted by this route.
Another route of transmission is from the infected mother to the son or daughter, but the risk is small and less frequent than with hepatitis B.
Before 1989, most infections occurred from blood transfusions, since the virus could not be detected. In advanced countries, this mechanism no longer exists, because controls on blood and derived products are exhaustive.
In most cases, people with hepatitis C have no symptoms for many years and the disease goes unrecognized. Therefore, it is not strange that the disease is diagnosed casually.
When there are symptoms, these can be:
- abdominal pain
- loss of hunger
- low fever
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- dark urine and whitish stools
In many cases, hepatitis C does not present discomfort until it is in a very advanced stage, with the consequent complications. Hence the importance of early detection.
Source: Generalitat de Catalunya (Gencat.cat)
If you want to find out more about this type of disease, you can consult the WHO:
Hepatitis A: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs328/en/
Hepatitis B: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/
Hepatitis C: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs164/en/