Hepatitis B virus treatment and cure are not as simple as portrayed.
It involves a series of specialised tests such as liver enzymes monitoring, hepatitis B quantifications, viral loads and, above all, specialist consultations, treatments and serial follow- ups, all of which take time.
Hepatitis B is a type of virus that infects the liver. In most cases, the virus will only stay in the body for around one to three months. This is known as acute hepatitis B. In about one in 20 cases in adults, the virus will stay for six months or longer, usually without causing any noticeable symptoms. This is known as chronic hepatitis B.
Chronic hepatitis B is particularly common in......babies and young children. Children infected in early childhood will develop the chronic or long-term infection. Most adults that acquire the infection in adulthood get rid of it within six months.
The simple explanation is that most adults with chronic hepatitis acquired it during childhood without being aware.
These same people who are carriers of the virus unknowingly transmit it to other people around them, hence increasing the prevalence of the virus among other Nigerians.
hepatitis B can be spread through blood transfusion, blood contacts and body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids, so it can be caught during unprotected sex, including anal and oral sex, when sharing needles to inject drugs such as heroin, etc.
It takes between 40 days to six months for any symptoms to develop after exposure to the virus. Many people don’t realise they have been infected with the virus because the symptoms may not develop immediately, or even at all.
The major symptoms are feeling sick, being sick, lack of appetite, flu-like symptoms, such as tiredness, general body pains, fibromyalgia (a rheumatic condition characterised by muscular or musculoskeletal pain with stiffness and localised tenderness at specific points on the body), headaches, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).
The following groups of people are at risk of contracting hepatitis B Virus: people who inject drugs, people with multiple sexual partners, people who obtain tattoos through unsterile instruments, people who have had blood transfusion, health workers, etc.
Hepatitis B is diagnosed by a blood test that shows a positive reaction to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBSag), a liver function test. This is a blood test that measures certain enzymes and proteins in the bloodstream, which indicates whether the liver is damaged. It will often show raised levels infected with the hepatitis B virus.
July 28th is World Hepatitis Day. The Strategic Health Insight, in marking this year’s World Hepatitis Day 2015 has announced a one-day free seminar for the public, entitled, “hepatitis B Virus is closer than you think.”
Date: Saturday, August 1, 2015. Please, call 08188343865, 08186549147 or visit www.the-hospitals.com for details.
Culled - Rotimi Adesanya
Share your thoughts....thanks!