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High prevalence of silent killer, Hepatitis

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A 32YEARS old man entered a doctor’s consultant room, wearing a  long face, obviously worried.

  The following conversation ensued;

Patient:-Good day doc. Doc:-Good day sir. Welcome, how do I help you? Patient:-I was told that I have hepatitis B infection in the hospital and needed to seek medical assistance.

Doc:-how?Patient:-My wife was to undergo a caesarian section because she couldn’tA deliver the baby on her own. Part of the requirements is for me to donate blood since I have the same blood group with her, but to my surprise, my blood was rejected because I’m reactive to Hepatitis B virus.

Doc:-Alright, any complain? I mean any signs or symptoms like weakness, Coke coloured urine, yellowish discoloration of the white part of the eyes? Patient:-No doc. I have none of that. In fact, I see myself as very healthy.

Hepatitis can be defined as the inflammation of the liver tissues. Some people have symptoms where as others develop yellowish discoloration of the skin and white of the eyes (jaundice), poor appetite, vomiting, tiredness, abdominal pain or diarrhea, tea or coke coloured urine, nausea, grayish bowel movements or stool.

Hepatitis can be caused by viruses that attack the liver cells. These viruses can be spread through contaminated food or water; shared intravenous needles, sexual inter course and contact with infected blood, but may also be passed from mother to child. Common viruses that cause hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C,(although others are hepatitis D and E, also other that are not too common are Autoimmune hepatitis, and NASH(Non-Alcoholic Steato hepatitis).Worldwide in 2015,hepatitisA occurred in about 114million people. Chronic hepatitis B affected about 343 million people while chronic hepatitis C ,about 142 million people in the United States .NASH affected about 11million people and Alcoholic Hepatitis affect about 5 million. Hepatitis alone results in more than a million deaths a year, most of which occur indirectly from liver scarring or liver cancer in USA Hepatitis A, also known as “infectious hepatitis” is usually spread by contaminated food or water and is common in countries with poor sanitation. It can also be spread by infected food handlers who don’t wash their hands before touching food. Occasional outbreaks occur from eating shellfish taken from sewage filled water. The hepatitis A virus causes flu like illness that sometimes followed by jaundice, coke coloured urine and clay coloured bowel movement.

Hepatitis B, also known as “serum hepatitis” because it’s spread through blood and other body fluids .It’s often passed through sexual contact and sharing intravenous needles. In some cases, it causes symptoms, but it usually results in an illness that may be more severe than hepatitis A. Hepatitis B may lead to long term liver disease.

Hepatitis C, also called non A, and non B hepatitis. Type C hepatitis may cause short or long term illness. It can be transmitted through contact with infected blood and by sharing intravenous needles. It can also be spread by sexual contact.

Hepatitis D can only infect people already infected with hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E is mainly spread by contaminated food and water. Acute viral hepatitis is a short term illness (less than six months) that can be caused by any of the hepatitis viruses. The symptoms may resemble those of the flu, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, joint pain and headaches. Fever, when present, is most common in cases of hepatitis A and E. others includes coke coloured urine(choluria) and clay coloured stools ,jaundice, liver enlargement. Some people experience enlarged spleen, some also experience unintentional weight loss.

Chronic Viral Hepatitis:-This continues for more than six months. This can occur as the body tries to clear the liver of the hepatitis virus. The immune reaction of the body can damage the liver. This can results in chronic active hepatitis as chronic persistent hepatitis with chronic active hepatitis, the disease progresses steadily toward cirrhosis and liver failure if treatment is unsuccessful. Chronic hepatitis interfere with hormonal functions of the liver which can result in acne, abnormal hair growth (hirsutism), lack of menstral period(amenorrhea),cirrhosis (extensive damage and scarring of the liver over time). This condition impedes the liver’s ability to function approximately, resulting in jaundice, weight loss,coagulopathy,abdominal fluid collection (ascites),leg swelling (peripheral edema), hepatic encephalopathy, esophageal varices, hepatorenal syndrome and liver cancer.

Reactive hepatitis:-symptoms of hepatitis caused by toxin are similar to these caused by viral hepatitis. Removing the toxin and avoiding alcohol or drug are essential to stop further damage to the liver.

Laboratory Testing:-Blood test can determine which type of hepatitis is present. Other testS are used to make sure the liver recovers. A liver biopsy can show how severe the damage is and help your doctor decide what medicine to use

Treatment:-No antibiotics will destroy the hepatitis viruses and return the liver to normal. Medicine can relieve the persistent nausea, occasional vomiting and abdominal pain of hepatitis. Hospitalizations maybe required for severe acute illness. Removal of the poisonous substance in toxic hepatitis is essential to prevent continued liver damage.

Prevention:-immunizations are available for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. people who are exposed to family members with hepatitis A and health Care workers who are exposed to hepatitis should consider immunization. Children should be immunized against hepatitis B in the first year of life. If you’re sexually active, practicing safer sex can help reduce your risk of infection. Intravenous drug users are at risk when they share needles. Be wary of any needles that maybe reused, such as those for ear piercing, tattooing or acupuncture. If you choose to have your ears pierced or get a tattoo, make sure the person uses a new sterile needle.

 

 

 

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