WORLD HEPATITIS DAY, 2018.

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Towards World Hepatitis Day, 2018.

HEPATITIS B AND ITS GOOD NEWS

According to world health organisation (WHO), hepatitis B is a life threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus which can lead to both acute and chronic disease and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.

On the 5th of December 2015, I lost a colleague and a dear friend due to hepatitis B virus.
Hepatitis B virus have claimed a lot of lives due to its asymptomatic nature, negligence and lack of care.

Hepatitis B is 100 times more infections than HIV and can survive outside the body for at least 7 days.
During this time, the virus can still cause infection if it enters the body of a person who is not protected by the vaccine.

The incubation period of the hepatitis B virus is 75 days on average, but can vary from 30 to 180 days.
The virus may be detected within 30 to 60 days after infection and can persist and develop into chronic hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B can be acute or chronic.

Acute hepatitis B is a short-term infection with the hepatitis B virus. Symptoms usually last several weeks but they can last up to 6 months.
The infection sometimes clears up because the immune system is able to fight off the infection and get rid of the virus.
Most healthy adults and children older than 5 who have hepatitis B get better without treatment.

Chronic hepatitis B is a long-lasting infection with the hepatitis B virus. Chronic hepatitis B occurs when the body can’t get rid of the hepatitis B virus. Children, especially infants, are more likely to get chronic hepatitis B, which usually has no symptoms until signs of liver damage appear.

TRANSMISSION OF HEPATITIS B
Hepatitis B can be transmitted through contact with an infected person’s blood and various body fluids, such as saliva, menstrual, vaginal, and seminal fluids.

This contact could occur through the following:

From mother to child during birth.

Accidental stick with an infected needle.

Unprotected sex with an infected person(s).

Having contact with blood or open sores of an infected person.

Sharing drug needles or other drug materials with an infected person.

Being tattooed or pierced with unsterilized tools that were used on an infected person.

Using an infected person’s razor, toothbrush, or nail clippers.

SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS B.

Most people do not experience any symptoms during the acute infection phase. However, some people have acute illness with symptoms that last several weeks, including:

Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).

Dark urine.

Extreme fatigue.

Nausea.

Vomiting and

Abdominal pain.

A small subset of persons with acute hepatitis can develop acute liver failure which can lead to death.

In some people, the hepatitis B virus can also cause a chronic liver infection that can later develop into cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer.

DIAGNOSIS OF HEPATITIS B.

Hepatitis B can be detected by a certified and licensed medical laboratory scientist, by conducting a blood test in the laboratory.

Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent liver damage.

PREVENTION OF HEPATITIS B (The good news).

The goodnews is that hepatitis B can be totally prevented by hepatitis B vaccine.

WHO recommends that all infants receive the hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours.

The hepatitis B vaccine is given in three shots over 6 months.

CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATIONS.

Government should embark on a door to door hepatitis B vaccine awareness campaign.

All infants should receive hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours after birth.

Patients who are hepatitis B positive should consult a certified Physician/Specialist for proper management/treatment.

 *Visit a Laboratory today and know your status*

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