Health Care

Free hepatitis testing at Seminole County health department

Free hepatitis testing at Seminole County health department”

Demand safe injection 2 million people a year contracts hepatitis from unsafe injection. It can be acute or chronic depending on the time period it lasts for.

Summary: Doctors said both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are easily treatable with oral medicines but the fact is hepatitis is a largely silent but persistent epidemic. It is transmitted through contaminated blood transfusions, needles and in some patients the cause is unknown.

Consultant Physician at a private hospital in the federal capital Dr. Azmat Ali expressed this while talking to "The News" in connection with World Hepatitis Day that is observed on July 28 around the globe. So on this day, let's gather information about the disease that affects millions every year. It can be both acute and chronic, ranging in severity from a mild illness to a lifelong one.

According to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, transfusion of unscreened blood in patients till 2002 had been one of the major reasons behind spread of Hepatitis C. Following 2002, the government has been strict on measures against infected blood. While the overall rise in diagnosed hepatitis cases indicates a general increase in testing practices across Europe, this does not apply to all of the European countries.

"It is transmitted through contaminated water, so, we can stay away from hepatitis by disposing faeces from the body carefully, by drinking clean and safe water, and by avoiding contact with contaminated blood, body fluid." . It is estimated that 3.5 million people in the United States live with the infection.

According to the health agency, access to Hepatitis C treatment for people living with chronic infection remains insufficient in many countries, resulting in more than 1000 people dying every day and the world has only recently expressed its alarm about the burden of viral hepatitis.

"It is also a major cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis, contributing to premature morbidity and mortality, and undermining economic growth and the push to achieve health and wellbeing for all", she said. There is now no vaccine for HCV, but research in this area is ongoing.

Those who are acutely symptomatic show fever, fatigue, decreases appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and dark urine as the symptoms.

Wondimagegnehu Alemu, WHO country Representative to Nigeria, in his remark said the worldwide health agency is committed to assisting Nigeria in it fights towards eliminating the disease. That can lead to liver scarring, called "cirrhosis", he said.

Bhatnagar said that HCV cases in women are fast increasing due to unsafe injection practices, promiscuity and unsafe sex, unsanitary delivery practices, rising intravenous drug use and usage of unsafe blood products from unregistered blood banks.

He said that a study in 2009 conducted among 552 drug users, who were not undergoing treatment, found that 65.4% of them had HCV. "Besides infected syringes, using common razors for shaving and each other's toothbrush for brushing teeth, too contributes to its spread", he said. Treatment is prolonged. Vaccine available against hepatitis B and public inclination towards its use has reduced hepatitis B infection in the past 10 to 20 years, said Dr. Azmat. Sofosbuvir, daclatasvir and the sofosbuvir/ledipasvir combination are the preferred drugs as per the World Health Organization guidelines.

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