Your Health Your Wealth
To contribute to the control and prevention of hepatitis by going to social gathering, educational centers, religious location, market places and villages to enlighten them about the mode of transmission of the disease and the possible ways to prevents its transmission and by conducting screening exercise and vaccination.
WHAT IS HEPATITIS
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by viruses, such as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E, as well as other factors like alcohol consumption, certain medications, toxins, and autoimmune diseases. The condition can vary in severity, ranging from mild and self-limiting to chronic and potentially serious. Symptoms may include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever. It’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have hepatitis.
TYPES OF HEPATITIS
Hepatitis A, caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV), is the most common worldwide. The onset of hepatitis A usually occurs 15 to 45 days after exposure to the virus, and some infected individuals, especially children, exhibit no clinical manifestations.
In the majority of cases, no special treatment other than bed rest is required; most recover fully from the disease. Hepatitis A does not give rise to chronic hepatitis. The severity of the disease can be reduced if the affected individual is injected within two weeks of exposure with immune serum globulin obtained from persons exposed to HAV. This approach, called passive immunization, is effective because the serum contains antibodies against HAV. An effective vaccine against HAV is available and is routinely administered to children over two years of age living in communities with high rates of HAV.
The vaccine is also recommended for people who travel to areas where HAV is common, homosexuals, people with chronic liver disease, hemophiliacs, and people who have an occupational risk for infection.
Hepatitis B is a much more severe and longer-lasting disease than hepatitis A. It may occur as an acute disease, or, in about 5 to 10 percent of cases, the illness may become chronic and lead to permanent liver damage. Symptoms usually appear from 40 days to 6 months after exposure to the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Those persons at greatest risk for contracting hepatitis B include intravenous drug users, sexual partners of individuals with the disease, health care workers who are not adequately immunized, and recipients of organ transplants or blood transfusions.
A safe and effective vaccine against HBV is available and provides protection for at least five years. Passive immunization with hepatitis B immune globulin can also provide protection. Approximately 1 in 10 patients with HBV infection becomes a carrier of the virus and may transmit it to others.
Those who carry the virus are also 100 times more likely to develop liver cancer than persons without HBV in their blood.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) was isolated in 1989, at which time it was referred to as non-A, non-B hepatitis. It typically is transmitted through contact with infected blood. Infection may cause mild or severe illness that lasts several weeks or a lifetime;
in the early 21st century an estimated 71 million people worldwide had chronic HCV infection. About 80 percent of those who become infected are asymptomatic; those who do show symptoms may experience a flulike illness, with fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes jaundice.
Approximately 60 to 80 percent of chronic infections progress to chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer. Alcoholics who are infected with hepatitis C are more prone to develop cirrhosis.
Infection with hepatitis D virus (HDV), also called the delta agent, can occur only in association with HBV infection, because HDV requires HBV to replicate. Infection with HDV may occur at the same time infection with HBV occurs, or HDV may infect a person already infected with HBV.
The latter situation appears to give rise to a more serious condition, leading to cirrhosis or chronic liver disease. Alpha interferon is the only treatment for HDV infection. Preventing infection with HBV also prevents HDV infection.
Discovered in the 1980s, the hepatitis E virus (HEV) is similar to HAV. HEV is transmitted in the same manner as HAV, and it, too, only causes acute infection.
However, the effects of infection with HEV are more severe than those caused by HAV, and death is more common. The risk of acute liver failure from infection with HEV is especially great for pregnant women.
In less-developed countries, including Mexico, India, and those in Africa, HEV is responsible for widespread epidemics of hepatitis that occur as a result of ingestion of contaminated water or food (enteric transmission).
Hepatitis F and G
Some cases of hepatitis transmitted through contaminated food or water are attributed to the hepatitis F virus (HFV), which was first reported in 1994.
Another virus isolated in 1996, the hepatitis G virus (HGV), is believed to be responsible for a large number of sexually transmitted and bloodborne cases of hepatitis. HGV causes acute and chronic forms of the disease and often infects persons already infected with HCV.
Amazing Things for You
Every year, millions of families are affected by viral hepatitis because they don’t have access to the testing, vaccines or treatments they need. We’re not waiting to protect our loved ones.
Join the fight on World Hepatitis Day every 28th July.
Join the fight as we countdown to #WorldHepatitisDay on 28 July Each year,
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