Viral Hepatitis: A Few Things That Everyone Should Know.
What is viral hepatitis ?
Like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS, viral hepatitis is responsible for the illness and death of millions of people every year. Hepatitis actually means the inflammation of the liver. Mainly, virus is responsible for hepatitis.
Viruses are responsible for most of the hepatitis cases. Some examples of these viruses are : Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus , Hepatitis D virus and Hepatitis E virus.
Among them, the hepatitis caused by ‘A’ and ‘E’, are not so much dangerous and life threatening. These viruses are found in dirty water and rotten foods. The chronic hepatitis is caused by mainly ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘D’ type. The viruses cause infection via the blood.
In the current world, almost 30% people of chronic hepatitis, are infected by the ‘A’ type hepatitis virus. Every year, about 20 million people are infected by Hepatitis ‘E’ virus.
People who are at risk :
The infection may spread by contaminated syringes that are used in injection. If the same injection is used by a diseased person and also a healthy person, then the healthy person may get the disease from the diseased person via the injection.
Again, the use of contaminated materials in any kind of operating procedure, may be responsible for spreading the disease.
Unprotective sex can be another cause.
Normally, children are mainly susceptible to viral hepatitis. But adults can also get the infection by the Hepatitis ‘E’ virus.
Pain at the joints of the body, dizziness, weakness, mild fever, headache, yellowish urine, yellowish eye, jaundice, pain in the abdomen etc. are common symptoms of viral hepatitis.
Treatment and prevention :
If the symptoms are detected, then diagnostics have to be done, if a doctor prescribes. Normally, PCR and ELISA methods are used in the diagnostics. In these tests, the viral particles present in the blood serum are tested.
Full bed rest is the main treatment of viral hepatitis. But along with full bed rest, the patients have to take medicines prescribed by the doctor and also a lot of natural fluids containing minerals have to be taken. Healthy food and fruits are must and clean drinking water has to be taken.
Normally, within a few weeks, the mild hepatitis is fully recovered, but if the hepatitis is at it’s chronic level, then this may lead to liver cirrhosis or cancer.
Vaccines are developed against Hepatitis ‘B’ and Hepatitis ‘A’, but there is no vaccine against Hepatitis ‘C’ and ‘E’. So, vaccines should be given to the children and the people to prevent the spreading of this disease.
To prevent the spreading of viral hepatitis from patents and for proper recovery, some measures have to be taken, for example :
- If the amount of bilirubin increases in the blood, the fatty foods must be avoided.
- The patients have to take potassium, sodium, glucose containing fluids.
- Leafy vegetables should be taken.
- If vomiting occurs, then IV saline should be given.
- The materials used by the patients, should be properly cleaned before reuse or disposal.
Viral hepatitis is a dangerous disease. But if we can remain careful, then may be we can prevent this terrible disease.