Viral Hepatitis: Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, usually caused by specific viruses. In the U.S., Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are by far the most prevalent types. Hepatitis A is highly contagious and spreads through contact with contaminated food or water, or from close contact with a person or object that’s infected. Hepatitis B is passed from person to person through blood, semen or other bodily fluids.
Hepatitis C, which is transmitted primarily by infected blood, is a common reason for liver transplants in the U.S. Learn more about the symptoms and prevention of hepatitis, and discover your level of risk by taking this Hepatitis Risk Assessment offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
28th July, is World Hepatitis Day and this year is themed ‘Eliminate Hepatitis.’
Viral hepatitis is a major health care burden in India. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), viral hepatitis caused around 1.34 million deaths in 2015. It is equated as a threat comparable to the “three big” communicable diseases – HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. For instance, several viruses can inflame the liver, the virus that mostly responsible are mononucleosis and the cytomegalovirus.
An eminent gastroenterology sheds some light on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day on viral hepatitis as well as to why India is concerned about the health of its citizens.
Are You At Risk Of Viral Hepatitis?
Five distinct viruses, particularly regarding hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, can cause viral hepatitis. Hepatitis can be transmitted through various transmitting modes such as oral, transfusion of blood, fecal, water, mother-to-child, needles, as well as sexual transmission. Unlike hepatitis A, B and C; hepatitis D and E are less common. HBV and HCV infection can cause chronic hepatitis, which can lead to ensuing complications like cirrhosis of liver and Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC).
As per 2017 WHO report, In India, hepatitis B is severely immunocompromised by about 40 million individuals and hepatitis C is chronically infected by 6 to 12 million individuals. Here are a few interesting facts about HBV and HCV infection on World Hepatitis Day.
- HBV is 50 to 100 times more deadly than the HIV virus (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
- In India, the prevalence of hepatitis viral infection is 3 – 4.2% with over 40 million HBV carriers.
- Every year over 115,000 Indians die due to hepatitis B related complications.
- HCV incidence in India has now become around 1% and most of those who have chronically infected people developed liver cirrhosis or cancer.
Why Get Tested For Viral Hepatitis?
Throughout the world, there are 325 million individuals living with hepatitis virus, yet as several other as 290 million of them are unaware of all that. Not only, the world’s leading cause of liver cancer is HBV and hepatitis HCV virus, but more than 80% of all those impacted by viral hepatitis are unaware of their condition for HBV and hepatitis HCV virus.
Proper hepatitis B and C therapy can restrict significant life-threatening risks of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer from developing.
Many other individuals with hepatitis virus are still not treated, owing in significant part to lack of knowledge and availability to diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis.
Additionally, for a long time, sometimes years or decades, chronic viral hepatitis triggered by hepatitis B and C viruses might not show symptoms. This further increases the risk of mortality due to hepatitis.
Also, at least 60% of liver cancer cases are due to late testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C. Over 90% of people with Hepatitis C can be completely treated within 3 – 6 months of early diagnosis and treated.
Acute viral hepatitis is usually self-limiting and requires a healthy diet, proper rest and symptomatic treatment to deal with the condition. Acute viral hepatitis developed primarily by the B and C viruses which requires antiviral medication to be treated.