Action needed to treat millions infected with viral hepatitis

Sunday, 29 Jul, 2018

And as reported by World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), hepatitis is known to cause two in every three liver cancer deaths. And the tragedy is that it is preventable.

HYDERABAD:With hepatitis virus threatening to infect and kill more people, city doctors have called for regular screening to detect the virus. Prevention of hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission from infected mothers to their new-borns is critical to HBV control and eventual eradication. This strategy has led to 20 fold reduction in Hepatitis B in certain countries like China. And for those who have chronic Hepatitis B, the infection will last for about 6 months and usually will have no symptoms.

Hepatitis A vaccinations are highly effective if received within 14 days of exposure, according to the health department.

She said urgent action is needed to find, test and treat the missing millions suffering from viral hepatitis and achieve the time-bound targets of WHO South-East Asia's Regional Action Plan. So Hepatitis C which was supposed to be a very quite kind of a virus is suddenly started appearing in epidemic forms where a large populations of entire villages are coming up with jaundice and symptoms of Hepatitis C. It is estimated that 10 million Indians have the infection.

Here, India acted with tremendous promptness.

It is estimated that there are 214,000 people living with hepatitis C in the United Kingdom, with approximately half of these not diagnosed.

PHE strongly encourages anyone who may have been at risk of HCV to get tested, whether or not they have any symptoms.

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The alarming report showed that of among people living in north India, hepatitis A and B are also prevalent with 41 per cent and 52 per cent respectively.

Members of the community can take critical steps to prevent the spread of hepatitis A - namely, ensuring thorough handwashing with soap and hot water after using the toilet and before handling food.

Who are at risk and should be tested? Low levels of this protein are a serious sign of liver disease. Patients with blood disorders such as thalassemia, who require blood transfusions regularly, are at high risk. I was cured because of medical advances and was not facing the same future when first diagnosed.

In England, around one-third of those with a long-term infection with HCV are believed to be over the age of 50 and many will have acquired the infection years, or even decades, earlier. If the liver is grossly damaged and is unable to perform its work, it may have to be replaced by a liver transplantation. If the disease is too advanced, these medicines can not be used and the liver has to be replaced. Until recently, hepatitis C was an untreatable chronic disease.

The theme for this year -Eliminate Hepatitis - was highlighted through a health talk by Saikia where the significance of adopting preventive measures for reducing the spread of hepatitis B and C virus was explained.

"The more people who get treatment, the fewer new infections there will be".