We all must have heard of a disease called hepatitis. Some of us even read about it in school.
Hepatitis has three types. There is hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Hepatitis A is the infectious type that is transmitted through contaminated water. The other two types (hepatitis B and hepatitis C) are transmitted through blood and other body fluids.
CAUSES OF HEPATITIS B
Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which severely infects the liver. If it lasts more than six months, it becomes a chronic disease. In that case, it can cause permanent liver damage by causing other diseases like liver cancer, liver cirrhosis, and even liver failure.
Like any other virus, the hepatitis B virus cannot be kept confined to a single person’s body. It is also transmitted from one person to another for the following reasons:
(I) Hepatitis B virus is present in the body fluids and reproductive tracts of men and women. Having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a person who already has this virus can lead to its transmission. The safest way is to use birth control during sex to prevent this virus from spreading.
(II) It is also caused by the use of contaminated injection needles that carry the virus. It occurs when two or more people do not use disposable syringes.
(III) Contaminated blood transfusions have also increased the number of hepatitis B cases worldwide.
(IV) In some cases, there has been a mother-to-child transmission. The virus has spread from the mother’s body to her newborn’s body.
Symptoms vary for different age groups. Children under the age of five show absolutely no symptoms, even if they are infected. Infected adults usually have yellow skin and eyes, and even their urine turns dark yellow or brown. In addition, infected people suffer from fatigue, which can last for weeks and sometimes persists for months. Some other symptoms are nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and joint pain. In addition, inflamed blood vessels appear and the host’s body weakens.
Hepatitis B has been found more in adults than in young children. Adolescents are also less likely to be affected by this disease. With regard to different countries, Hepatitis B has been found to be more prevalent in South African countries and the Southeast Asian region. In addition, there have been many cases in the Pacific and Australian areas. American countries have been less infected with this virus.
Like all viruses, treatment for hepatitis B involves a vaccine. But before that, the diagnosis of the patient must be made, which can be in many alternative ways. These include blood tests, which can determine if the virus in your body is chronic or acute. There is an ultrasound, which can detect the amount of liver damage. Finally, there is a liver biopsy, where your doctor removes a small part of your liver and checks to see if the virus is present or if there is any damage.
MEDICINE FOR HEPATITIS B It involves antiviral drugs that reduce the replication capacity of the virus. These drugs are recommended only to those patients with chronic conditions.