Viral Hepatitis – silent killer! 9 out of 10 People Living with Viral Hepatitis Are Unaware!

Dr. Pavan Hanchanale

Gastroenterologist & Liver transplant physician Jupiter Hospital, Baner, Pune

Hepatitis, which affects the liver result from various causes. We commonly see Infections such as viral hepatitis causing jaundice and liver failure in some. Typical Symptoms of acute viral hepatitis are fatigue, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, itching, Yellowing of eyes/ skin, the passage of dark-colored urine or pale stools.

 

It is diagnosed with a good history, physical examination and blood tests. Hepatitis A and E are mostly self-limiting once, spreads through consumption of Contaminated water and food, wherein rest at home and supportive medications are advised. In rare cases, patients may need hospitalization and monitoring for Development of complications. Hand hygiene, safe food preparation, clean water consumption and vaccination against hepatitis A can help in prevention of infection. Hepatitis E can be life-threatening during pregnancy and needs careful management.

Hepatitis B and C spread via contact with contaminated blood and blood products.

Sharing of needles, blades, toothbrush, etc. Everyone should undergo screening for these types of hepatitis because they remain symptom-free until the development of silent liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and in few cases of acute liver failure requiring a liver transplant. Treatment is available for both viruses.

Moreover, hepatitis C can be cured these days with tablets, whereas hepatitis B can be kept under control with medicines and routine follow-up. Government has initiated efforts through mandatory childhood vaccination to prevent hepatitis B.

There is no vaccine available for hepatitis C till now.

According to the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), a not-for-profit organization who works with governments, national members and other key partners to raise Awareness of viral hepatitis and influence global change. Unless there is a massive Scale-up in screening, diagnosis, and linkage to care, more people will become Infected and lives will continue to be lost.

Eating a balanced diet, total avoidance of alcohol and complementary alternative Medicine is a must during a bout of hepatitis. You should consult a doctor immediately in case of these symptoms. Early diagnosis by screening and vaccine for preventable Hepatitis should be encouraged.

Let’s all together get one more step closer to “ELIMINATE HEPATITIS” on the Occasion WORLD HEPATITIS DAY, WORLD HEPATITIS DAY (28-July-2019)