On 28TH July we celebrate World Hepatitis Day. The theme this year is Eliminate Hepatitis. Goal of this day is to help countries who are facing major health issues due to hepatitis and asses the need to eliminate viral hepatitis. The program is structured to remove hepatitis B and C in the next 13 years. All health community globally responded by launching NO hep, the first ever global movement to eradicate viral hepatitis by 2030.
Hepatitis is a general term referring to inflammation of the liver. It may result from various causes, due to viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic organisms. Non-infectious causes could be due to alcohol, poisonous substances, and autoimmune hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is one of the major causes of liver disease.
Viruses that primarily attack the liver are called hepatitis viruses. There are several types of hepatitis viruses including types A, B, C, D, E, and possibly G. Types A, B, and C are the most common.
All hepatitis viruses can cause acute hepatitis and liver disease.
Causative agents of Hepatitis:
- Hepatitis A: Is transmitted through consuming food or water, contaminated by faeces from a person infected with hepatitis A.
- Hepatitis B: Is transmitted through contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, vaginal secretions, or semen, containing the hepatitis B virus.
- Hepatitis C: is transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, typically through injection drug use and sexual contact.
- Hepatitis D: also called delta hepatitis, hepatitis D is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). HDV is contracted through direct contact with infected blood.
- Hepatitis E: a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). Hepatitis E is mainly found in areas with poor sanitation and typically results from ingesting faecal matter contaminated with virus.
Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis:
- flu-like symptoms
- dark urine
- pale stool
- abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
- unexplained weight loss
- yellow skin and eyes, which may be signs of jaundice
Diagnosis of tests to detect hepatitis:
- Physical Examination and clinical evaluation of patient
- Liver function tests
- Abnormal Ultrasound
- Liver biopsy
Treatment of hepatitis:
- Adequate diet and rest, maintenance of proper hygiene, avoid sharing of personal items and physical contact with those who are infected with hepatitis B and D. Maintain adequate hydration in case of diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Antiviral medications are used to treat both acute and chronic forms of hepatitis C.
Measures to prevent Hepatitis
- Prevention of diseases through vaccination of Hepatitis A and B:
- The hepatitis A vaccine is available to prevent this infection. Most children begin vaccination between ages 12 and 18 months.
- Vaccination is recommended for all children age 12 months or older, for travellers to certain countries, and for people at high risk for infection with the virus. The hepatitis A vaccine is given as two shots, six months apart.
- It’s a series of two vaccines. Vaccination for hepatitis A is also available for adults and can be combined with the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine confers long-term protection against clinical illness and chronic hepatitis B virus infection.
- Washing fruits and vegetables is essential to prevent especially to prevent Hepatitis A.
- Reducing consumption of outside food
- Keeping your surroundings hygienic and Maintain proper sanitation
Complications of Hepatitis:
- Liver cancer:
- Liver cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is a liver disease where the normal healthy tissue is replaced by scar tissue. Due to this the liver is not able to perform its regular functions. The disease is a slow progressing and blood flow is blocked in the liver, hampering the production of vital substance, from the liver affecting the overall health status of an individual.
- chronic liver disease
Other causes of hepatitis include:
- Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic disease of unknown cause and is characterized by continuing liver cells inflammation and necrosis. It has a tendency to progress to cirrhosis and is another cause of hepatitis.
- Alcoholic hepatitis is a syndrome of progressive inflammatory liver injury associated with long-term heavy intake of alcohol. Patient suffers from fever, liver enlargement, marked impairment of liver function. The diagnosis of alcoholic hepatitis is straightforward and requires no further diagnostic studies in patients presenting with a history of alcohol abuse, typical symptoms and physical findings, evidence of liver functional impairment, and compatible liver enzyme levels.
Vaccination for Hepatitis:
Hepatitis B Vaccine is recommended:
The CDC recommends it for all babies, who should get their first dose as new-borns.
- Anyone who has a sexual contact with a partner with hepatitis B
- Anyone being evaluated or treated for an STD
- Men who have sex with men
- People who share needles used to inject drugs
- Anyone who lives with someone who has hep B
- People with end-stage kidney (renal) disease
- Medical workers
- Travelers to regions with moderate to high rates of hepatitis B
- People with chronic liver disease
- People with HIV infections
Hepatitis Vaccination A:
The CDC recommends that all children between ages 12 months and 23 months get this vaccine.
The following people are also at risk for the disease and should be vaccinated:
- Anyone who uses illegal drugs
- People with chronic (long-term) liver disease
- Anyone treated with blood clotting drugs, such as people with haemophilia
- People who work with HAV-infected primates or in HAV research laboratories. (HAV is like HIV in animals.)
- Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common.
- Countries susceptible to gastrointestinal disease
In case you are experiencing any signs and symptoms of viral hepatitis, please visit Wockhardt Hospital.
Wockhardt Hospitals, a chain of tertiary care super-specialty hospitals has more than 25 years of experience in the creation and management of Super Specialty Hospitals in India.
We are a premiere hospital in the country specializing in the treatment of digestive disorders. We provide comprehensive digestive care to our patients. The digestive care centre at Wockhardt Hospitals makes it a centre for excellence with our clinical expertise, to treat such conditions affecting the digestive system. For further information or any gastroenterology services or liver transplant related query visit our experts at Wockhardt Hospital.
Wockhardt Hospitals is regarded as a centre of excellence the healthcare domain, having facilities in North Mumbai (Mira road), South Mumbai (Mumbai Central), Navi Mumbai (Vashi), Nagpur, Nasik, Rajkot and Surat. Wockhardt Hospitals has state-of-the-art infrastructure. Our prime objective is patient safety and quality of care at all levels. The guiding philosophy is to serve and enrich the Quality of Life of patients and to make life win.