Jaundice or hepatitis is the disease of liver. Any disease affecting the liver, the bile ducts or the breakdown of red blood cells, can cause an accumulation of bilirubin and lead to jaundice or hepatitis. Since liver is a very important organ in body, so its inflammation due to jaundice affects digestion adversely. Jaundice is caused by viral infection. The types of hepatitis are ; Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D, Hepatitis E or Hepatitis G. Except for type B which is a DNA virus, all the other are RNA viruses. Hepatitis is spread mostly by food and water contaminated with hepatitis virus (Watch Hepatitis Video to learn more).
Some of the more common and more important causes of jaundice are described below:
Jaundice in newborn babies is very common and is mostly a normal event. It can occur for two reasons: Newborn babies have too many red blood cells which contain haemoglobin. It is normal for the baby’s body to break down these excess red blood cells and thus form a large amount of bilirubin.
Hepatitis A is an acute infectious disease of liver which affects mainly children and young adults. Transmission of hepatitis A virus (HAV) takes place by faecal-oral route, i.e., infection of HAV takes place by ingestion of contaminated water, food or milk.
Hepatitis B is also known as serum hepatitis or transfusion hepatitis. This is most dangerous and widespread type of viral hepatitis. It occurs due to infection of hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV is a blood borne DNA virus. The infection of HBV is transmitted by infected blood, inoculation (Inoculation means the introduction of a vaccine into a living being to confer immunity), from mothers to their babies and by sexual route (through the semen, saliva, etc).
Useful for CBSE, ICSE, NCERT & International Students
Grade : 9
Subject : Biology
Lesson : Why Do We Fall Ill?
Topic: Hepatitis Video
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