World Hepatitis Day 2019: What you need to know about hepatitis and diagnosing it

World Hepatitis Day is recognized on 28th July every year to emphasize on the importance of taking the appropriate steps against a disease which affects approximately 300 million people around the world without them being aware of their affliction. The occasion not only urges individuals to take the relevant action, but also tries to encourage the governments to prioritize hepatitis and formulate action plans to counter the same.

28th July was chosen as it is the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg, a Noble prize winning doctor who was the first to discover the Hepatitis B virus and also formulated a diagnostic test and vaccine for the disease.

What is Hepatitis?

 Hepatitis occurs from an inflammatory condition of the liver and is normally caused by viral infections. However, there are other reasons as to how one can get affected by hepatitis. Medications, alcohol, drug, other types of toxins result in what is known as autoimmune hepatitis. This type of hepatitis occurs only when the body creates antibodies against the tissues of the liver.

There are 5 types of viral hepatitis. They are as follows:

  • Hepatitis A: This is caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and is normally transmitted by eating the food or drinking water of a person with Hepatitis A.
  • Hepatitis B: This is caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is communicated by body fluids such as semen, blood, and vaginal secretions containing the virus.
  • Hepatitis C: Hepatitis C virus (HCV), it is transmitted by infected body fluids, drugs taken via injections, and sexual intercourse with a person with HCV.
  • Hepatitis D: Also known as delta hepatitis, it is caused by the Hepatitis D virus (HDV). It is communicated by direct contact with the blood of an infected person. However, the delta hepatitis can’t exist nor multiply without hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis E: Caused by the Hepatitis E virus (HEV), it is contracted and transmitted commonly in places with bad sanitation conditions and ingesting the fecal substances polluting the water supply.

Here are some of the common symptoms of hepatitis:

  • Symptoms common to the flu
  • Dark colored urine
  • Tiredness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pale stool
  • Unreasonable weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Yellow eyes and skin (which is a sign for jaundice)

Diagnosis and prevention

 Some of the common diagnostic methods are comprise of detailing the medical history of the patient to check if they are at risk of contracting hepatitis. Liver function tests are done to check if the organ is working appropriately. If the results are not normal, then it might be an indication of something wrong especially if the patient’s physical liver exam doesn’t show any abnormalities. Various other blood tests can also be conducted to get to the source of the problem. An abdominal ultrasound procedure can also be done which provides the doctor with an image of the liver and its surrounding organs for analysis.

Maintaining proper hygiene and vaccinations are an effective way to prevent oneself from contracting the disease.

Medikabazaar is working in tune with this year’s theme of World Hepatitis Day by the World Health Organization (WHO), that is, “Invest in eliminating hepatitis.” We are providing a range of quality products for hospitals which they can use to treat the disease effectively.

For a range of products for World Hepatitis Day, visit Medikabazaar!

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