“9 in 10 people living with viral hepatitis don’t know they have it. Undiagnosed, it can be deadly”
World Hepatitis Day is commentated each year on 28 July to ehnance awarenss of viral hepatitis, an inflammatory of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer.
There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus – A, B, C, D and E. Together, hepatitis B and C are the most common cause of deaths, with 1.3 million lives lost each year. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, viral hepatitis continues to claim thousands of lives every day.
This year’s theme is “Hepatitis-free future,” with a strong focus on preventing hepatitis B among mothers and newborns.
HEPATITIS A results from infection by the Hepatitis A Virus(HAV). It’s an acute(short term) type of hepatitis which usually requires no treatment.
It can be spread through contaminated food and wate or close personal contact with an infected person. It usually isn’t serious and usually goes away on it’s own.
HEPATITIS B is transmitted through contact with infectious body fluids, such as blood, vaginal secretions, or semen, containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Injection drug use, transmission from mother to child during pregnancy, having sex with an infected partner, or sharing razors with an infected person increase your risk of getting hepatitis B.
HEPATITIS C comes from the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Its transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids, typically through injection, drug use and sexual contact.
HEPATITIS D Also called delta hepatitis, its a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). HDV is contracted through direct contact with infected blood. Hepatitis D is a rare form of hepatitis that only occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B infection. The hepatitis D virus can’t multiply without the presence of hepatitis B.
HEPATITIS E is 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 fecal matter that contaminates the water supply.
Common Symptoms Of Hepatitis
If you have infectious forms of hepatitis that are chronic, like hepatitis B and C, you may not have symptoms in the beginning. Symptoms may not occur until the damage affects liver function.
Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis appear quickly. They include:
loss of appetite
unexplained weight loss
yellow skin and eyes, which may be signs of jaundice
Tips to Prevent Hepatitis
Practice good hygiene by taking clean water, not taking raw or dirty food, avoiding sharing of needles, razors or touching of spilled blood.
Practice protected sex by using condoms and dental dams
Vaccines. Vaccination are available to prevent the development of hepatitis A and B.
Going for general checkup to know your health status.
Hepatitis can be prevented and treated at early stage if discovered on time, take the lead and make your health a priority. Regular general check up is also very important.
Together we can ensure a “Hepatitis-free future”
Written by Glory Ayobami Ogunbodede