Hepatitis is a viral disease that affects the liver. It is mainly characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the liver. Acute Hepatitis is when it last for six months and chronic is when it last for much longer. Any Infection of the liver or inflammation of the liver is known as hepatitis, but the ones we need to be worried about are specific viruses that affect the liver differently. Some of the symptoms of liver failure are muscle and joint aches, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, dark urine, yellowing of the eyes and skin, otherwise known as "jaundice" , and abdominal pain just to name a few. Jaundice is usually a later effect that indicates massive liver damage. We turn yellow because our bodies cannot flush away the waste we need to expel. Basically Hepatitis causes us to drown in our own bile. Hep A is usually transmitted through contaminated food. There is a vaccine that can prevent Hep A for life. Hep A can pass like the flu. Heb B is transmitted through sex, tattoos, piercings, and breastfeeding. Hepatitis B can be treated but not cured, although there is also vaccine. Hepatitis B is responsible for
500,000 to 1,200.000 deaths worldwide per year.
Hepatitis C used to be known as "Non-A Non-B Hepatitis". It can be transmitted through blood, sex, and can also cross the placenta infecting an unborn child. Hepatitis C usually leads to chronic Hepatitis ending in liver failure, know as "Cirrhosis" of the liver. There is some treatment, but not cure. Hepatitis D can only grow if you have Hep B already. It's basically the stage of B that kills you. Hep E is similar to hep A but more common among pregnant women. Hep F is hypothetical, basically there were thought to be a few cases in the 90's but no one ever proved it, and the newest form is Hep G which was just found this year and not much is known about it. The scary part of viruses is that each time someone contracts one, it changes slightly. If so many people contract it then each time it changes into something new, and worse. Take the time to clean and sterilize properly, the life you save might be yours.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
HIV infection happens with cross-contamination of blood, breast milk, or semen. Basically HIV attacks your immune system. This means that you don't die of HIV, you die of the flu or a splinter in your toe. As of 2006, The World Health Organization estimates that HIV and AIDS have killed over twenty five million men, women, and children since it was first identified on December 1st 1981. It is the most destructive illness in the history of the world. In 2005 alone it killed 570,000 children. A person with HIV can remain healthy for many years, spreading the disease without ever knowing it. There are virtually no symptoms until one develops AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). The transmition of HIV is most common through unprotected sex. Though it is highly possible to contract the disease through needle sharing, a noted college did a statistical survey of two-hundred known needle sticks in a medical environment. Out of two-hundred contaminated needle sticks across the U.S. in 2004, only three of the victims contracted the disease. With mother to child transmission can occur in utero during the last few weeks of pregnancy or at childbirth. Without treatment,
transmission from mother to child is only a twenty five percent possibility, but with delivery through cesarean section and drug treatment the risks can be reduced as low as one percent. Unfortunately, breast feeding has its own chances of infection. The lowest form of HIV transmission is through the field of tattooing and piercing. To date, there have been no known cases transmitted through body modification. HIV and AIDS have no cure. There are minor treatments with breakthroughs everyday. Please, as an artist, do your job and help continue the fact that the lowest area of transmission is the body modification industry.
There are initially three types of Chlamydia: Trachomatis, Muridarum, and Suis. Trachomatis is the only one of concern in regards to body modification. Chlamydia Trachomatis causes eye and genital disease, and is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. A little fewer than three million cases of Chlamydia occur in the US each year. Most women that have contracted the disease will show no symptoms or even know they contracted it. Chlamydia is curable with the proper antibiotics, however, if not caught it is the number one cause of preventable blindness in the world. Some of the symptoms of this form of Chlamydia include Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which means infection to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. If not treated, PID can lead to scarring of the reproductive organs, difficulty getting pregnant, and difficulties during pregnancy such as, entopic or a tubal pregnancy. One of the major drawbacks to this infection is that women with Chlamydia are more that five times more likely to be infected with HIV. Some of the more noticeable symptoms are abdominal pain, painful urination, painful intercourse, vaginal bleeding, fever, and a thick white cervical discharge. Men are much more likely to show symptoms of Chlamydia such as, painful urination, sore or swollen testacies, fever, and a clear milky discharge from the penis. If not properly treated, for men, it may cause permanent sterility in as soon as 6 weeks.
Staphylococcus aureus (Staff Infection)
Staphylococcus Aureus is more commonly referred to as a "Staph Infection". Staph is a common bacterium that lives on the skin and inside the nose of almost every person in the world. This is the bacterium that is responsible for such things as Impetigo, Cellulituis, Pneumonia, Septicemia, Pimples and Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Staph is the leading cause of bacterial infection to small wounds or abrasions. This is something that can be avoided very easily among the tattoo industry; Anti-Bacterial Soap. Once Staph is introduced to a sight, usually the best Medication recommended is a mild antibiotic prescription. However, if not treated Staph infections can get much worse and lead to rapid weight loss and muscle depletion, sometimes taking up to half a year till full recovery. Staphylococcus itself led to another strain of the bacteria in the late 1990's called Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
MRSA is a stronger strain of Staph that gets it name through a resistance to most of the commonly known antibiotics. Due to its production of cretin enzymes that attack the antibodies themselves, the antibiotics are rendered completely useless. Until the 1990's MRSA was a rare thing, but in the 90's there was a massive epidemic of MRSA, mostly in hospital environments. This particular strain has to be treated with antibiotics such as Glycopeptides. There are many problems with these antibiotics, there are no pills. So if you find yourself the victim of MRSA, then you can expect a vacation to the hospital for a few days and an IV cocktail of antibiotics. The reason I wanted to bring up MRSA is because last year (2006) there were a handful of cases also in the tattoo community. This "Artist" did not know how to properly take apart and clean his tattoo machine so he just didn't clean it. There were a handful of MRSA cases, all with new tattoos. The Center for Disease Control paid him a visit and matched the strain they all had to his machine. Needless to say he won't be tattooing for a long time. This is a clear example of how much pain and suffering you can cause from simply cutting corners. You must perform your job to the best of your ability, but if your ability isn't enough then go flip burgers. Statistics show that in 2005 MRSA killed more individuals than HIV and AIDS combined. There are 20 known antibiotics in medical use, 5 of which have a standing chance against MRSA. If you miss one single dose, then the MRSA will have a resistance to that antibiotic; this leaves you with less choice. If you are allergic to penicillin, then you can only use two antibiotics to start with.
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