Unmasking the Silent Threat: Hepatitis Emerges as a Lethal Adversary Surpassing Deadly Viruses
Hepatitis which causes Liver Inflammation has now become a global concern as it is the most dreaded disease than Malaria, Dengue or HIV. It is a viral infection that affects the Liver and is a leading cause of death across the globe. Despite the known fact that there is an availability of the vaccine, a surge of 63 per cent in Hepatitis deaths has shown.
The contagious and life-threatening Hepatitis is of five different types, namely A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis B, C and D are transmitted through blood, semen or other body fluids and Hepatitis A and E are waterborne viruses. People infected with the Hepatitis virus are 10 times more than the number of HIV patients. Globally more than 400 million people infected with Hepatitis B or C do not even know and live with the symptoms for a longer period. Hepatitis A and E can be severe, incapacitating and fatal during the onset of monsoon. Hepatitis B and C on the other hand can cause severe illness and Chronic Liver Disease, which can lead to Cirrhosis of Liver or Cancer. Unlike Hepatitis B, C and D, Hepatitis A and E do not damage the Liver in the long term.
People infected with Hepatitis B and C do not even know if they are infected and Liver with infection for a longer period. About six lakh people are dying due to acute and chronic consequences of Hepatitis B, which is nearly 100 times more than HIV/AIDS. Acute infection may present a few symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fever and Jaundice. Chronic Hepatitis may present with early and late symptoms of Liver Dysfunction and Failure.
Apart from being transmitted through body fluid or contaminated surgical instruments, Hepatitis B can be spread from a mother to a child. Adults infected with Acute Hepatitis B can be cured to 95-100%, but when infected in babies from the mother is not treatable. The incidence can be reduced to 65% with new antiviral treatments, which suppresses the progression of the disease. You are just three doses away from vaccination to prevent Hepatitis. Once infected or vaccinated early, you cannot get Hepatitis in your lifetime.
“Hepatitis rarely present symptoms until very late, consequently regular health checkup is advised for people above 40 years. Infants should be immunized from Hepatitis early. In addition, all pregnant ladies should be screened for Hepatitis B and C, if found positive, adequate measures should be taken to prevent transmission. Good rest and adequate nutrition and Liver support agents will lead to early recovery.” Says Dr Dharmesh Kapoor, Senior Consultant Hepatologist at Gleneagles Global Hospital.