Hepatitis Day – Guide to a safeguard yourself

World Hepatitis Day is on July 28, 2016 and you can make a difference with PIH. Help us raise awareness and reduce the risk of hepatitis through our identification, diagnosis and treatment. Hepatitis is known to kill 1.4 million people worldwide every year. World Hepatitis Day is recognized as one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).[i]

Hepatitis is an infection that affects the liver. This infection is predominantly caused by the B and C viruses. These diseases are highly contagious and lead to a long-term illness. There are two types of hepatitis, namely acute hepatitis (short-term illness that lasts for a period of 6 months) and chronic hepatitis (the virus remains in the body, which is replaced by a scar tissue and long-term illness). Carriers are people that cannot get rid of the hepatitis B or hepatitis C and can give it to others.

The symptoms of acute hepatitis include:

  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Stomach pain
  • Pain in the muscles and joints

 

Unlike Acute Hepatitis, Chronic Hepatitis can infect the liver with diseases like cirrhosis (where the cells of the liver die and are replaced by scar tissue). In time, this causes the liver to stop functioning and leads to liver cancer.[ii]

The hepatitis B virus spreads due to direct contact with the body fluids (blood, semen, or vaginal fluids) of an infected person. The hepatitis C virus is spread by direct contact with infected blood.

Tests (Hepatitis B)[iii]

Several blood tests for the hepatitis B try to identify antibodies to the virus. Tests provide reports on you have been infected recently or if you are a carrier. Tests are recommended for:

  • Pregnant women
  • Infants born to infected mothers
  • Sex partners of and those who live with an infected person
  • People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
  • Users of injected illegal drugs
  • People who are the source of blood or other body fluid exposures (for example, when a health care worker has been stuck by a needle)
  • People receiving cancer treatment or treatment with drugs that suppress the immune system

 

Tests (Hepatitis C)

Hepatitis C Tests determine whether you are infected with the virus. On confirmation, another test will prove if the virus is present in your blood. Tests are recommended for:

  • Users of injected illegal drugs
  • People who received clotting factors before 1987
  • Dialysis patients
  • People with HIV
  • People who have abnormal liver enzyme test results
  • People who received blood or who had an organ transplant before 1992
  • People who received blood from someone who later tested positive for the hepatitis C virus
  • Health care workers who may have been exposed to hepatitis C-positive blood (for example, who have been stuck with a needle used on a person with hepatitis C)

Treatment and prevention (Hepatitis B)

 

Treatment is provided for liver diseases originating from the infection. A shot of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) contains antibodies to counter the virus. Four doses are given to enable the immune system to fight the viruses.

Treatment and prevention (Hepatitis C)

 

A several antiviral drugs are given to treat the hepatitis C virus infection. There is no vaccine but it can be avoided by using of condoms during sex and not sharing needles when injecting drugs

Help US ELIMINATE VIRAL HEPATITIS by 2030

PIH is Port Moresby’s largest private hospital offering more than 14 specialties under one roof, with specialists and technologically advanced equipment being utilized to bring modern healthcare to PNG. PIH houses an advanced diagnostic unit which can help in detecting if you or your wantok have hepatitis and also to answer any query that you might have. Do call us at 79988000 for any query that you might have. You can also email us at info@pihpng.com

The information available on this blog related to images, graphics, text and other content is available for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of your doctor in respect to questions on a medical condition or treatment and do not disregard the doctor’s professional advice after reading information on this blog.