World Hepatitis Day 2021: Theme, Hep types, and Significance.

What is hepatitis? Theme this year, few symptoms, about types of Hep, and how to contribute?

THEME 2021 : “Hepatitis Can’t Wait”

What is Hepatitis:

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It can lead to scarring, cirrhosis, and liver cancer. There are 5 main hepatitis viruses: –

Types A, B, C, D and E. These 5 types are very serious since they cause severe illness, even leading to death. They can also cause outbreaks and spread of epidemic.

 A person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness 

Causes :

Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, autoimmune diseases can cause hepatitis

Ways of transmission: Have contact or receiving of contaminated blood or blood products, invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment. Hepatitis B can transfer from mother to baby at birth, from family member to child, and by sexual contact.

Main symptoms:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Dark urine,
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain. 

Types of hepatitis:

1 Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) :

Transmitted through consumption of contaminated water, food; sometimes sexual contact. It’s trace is present in faeces. In most of the cases, it is usually mild and when treated properly it can make one immune from further infections. But, left untreated it can turn life threatening.

Additional symptoms :

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort, (by your liver)
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Severe itching

Safe, effective vaccines are available to prevent HAV.

2 Hepatitis B Virus (HBV): –

Transmitted through exposure to infective blood, semen, and other body fluids, mother to baby, family member to a child during early childhood, transfusions of HBV-contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use. Medical workers have a greater chance of exposure.

Add Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite

Safe, effective vaccines are available to prevent HAV.

IT HAS NO CURE, BUT JUST CAN BE PREVENTED

3 Hepatitis C Virus :-

Transmitted through exposure to infective blood, instruments during surgeries; even though the chance is low, sexual transmission is possible. If detected soon it can be treated. But, most of them have no idea they have Hep C starts with it’s acute form which rarely shows symptoms.

Add. symptoms:

  • Bleeding easily
  • Bruising easily
  • Itchy skin
  • Fluid buildup in your abdomen (ascites)
  • Swelling in your legs
  • Spiderlike blood vessels on your skin

NO Vaccine yet

4 Hepatitis D Virus : –

It can transmit through blood and body fluids but it only occurs when the person is already affected with Hepatitis B. IT IS MOST SEVERE FORM OF HEPATITIS. It can lead to lifelong liver damage and even death. HBV vaccine gives protection from Hepatitis D virus. If you have HBV, haven’t taken HBV vaccine and live where HDV is more prevalent; the chance of contracting HDV is higher.

Add. Symptoms:

  • Not feeling hungry
  • Joint pain
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stool

NO CURE

5 Hepatitis E Virus (HEV): –

Transmission through contaminated food like undercooked meat from infected animals, such as pigs or deer, or water. The one that causes most outbreaks. It can get better by practicing hygiene, but pregnant women and people with weak immune system are at a risk.

Add. symptoms:

  • Light-colored poop
  • Skin rash or itching
  • Joint pain
  • Less hunger and throwing up

Safe and effective vaccines to prevent HEV infection have been developed but are not widely available.

Why 28th July?

It is the birthday of Dr Baruch Blumberg, the Nobel-laurate scientist discovered the Hepatitis B virus (HBV), diagnostic tests and vaccine for Hep B.

How to contribute:

  • Practice hygiene for yourself and encourage those around you.
  • Join drives which support sanitation of unhygienic, neglected areas.
  • Educate yourself and people around you.
  • Donate to legit Hep donations.
  • Before travelling to areas where Hep prevails, get yourself vaccinated against Hep.
  • Spread awareness, because it might help someone one day. (Learning about symptoms encourages one to go to Doctor)
  • Join the campaigns by WHO.

REF:

https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2021/07/28/default-calendar/world-hepatitis-day-2021