World Hepatitis Day 28-July-2021
Greetings from KIMS Saveera Hospital for this world hepatitis day 2021. This year’s theme is “Hepatitis can’t wait”, conveying the urgency of efforts needed to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. With a
Greetings from KIMS Saveera Hospital for this world hepatitis day 2021. This year’s theme is “Hepatitis can’t wait”, conveying the urgency of efforts needed to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness – even in the current COVID-19 crisis – we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis.
Hepatitis is one of the important causes of death worldwide. Nearly 4000 people lose their lives every day. Majority of patients do not have any symptoms until they develop advanced disease like liver cirrhosis. Hence it is important to screen for hepatitis in form of liver function tests, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C before development of advanced disease.
Apart from fatty liver and alcohol, viral hepatitis like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C are important cause of cirrhosis worldwide. Let us understand some important information about viral hepatitis.
How do we get viral hepatitis?
Hepatitis B and C are mainly blood borne infections, they are transmitted from Infected mother to baby, Sharing contaminated needles, Razors or transfusion of infected blood.
How is it tested?
Vital hepatitis is tested by simple and cheap blood tests like HBSAg and Anti HCV antibody.
What happen if we are tested positive?
If we diagnose disease in early stage – Hepatitis C can be completely cured with oral medications. Chronic Hepatitis B though cannot be completely cured but can be controlled with oral medications and prevent development of advanced disease. Family members of Hepatitis B positive patients should also be screened for Hepatitis B and if found to be negative they should get Hepatitis B Vaccine to avoid getting infected from the patient.
How do we protect ourselves from Hepatitis?
Hepatitis B infection can be prevented by Vaccination. Though there are no vaccine available for Hepatitis C it can be prevented by taking universal precautions like avoiding sharing of used needles/razors. Blood transfusions from designated blood banks.
Can HBSAg positive status become negative?
In Chronic Hepatitis B HBSAg status rarely become negative. But having HBSAg Positivity doesn’t mean patient is having advanced disease.HBV viral load and Liver function tests determine the status of disease. If viral load is low with normal liver functions majority patients need not take any medications they just need observation by a Gastroenterologist.