All you need to know about Hepatitis
What is Hepatitis?
What is Hepatitis? To understand the depth of the disease, first we need to have a basic understanding of the subject. Swelling & inflammation of the liver is known as viral hepatitis. Most of the times, it is often initiated by the infection with hepatitis A, B, C or E viruses. What more could be worst is if left untreated, such infections could have fatal consequences.
Classifying the types of hepatitis virus, it has four major transmission categories. Hepatitis A is transmitted through food and water contaminated by an already infected individual. This infection lasts only for a shorter period of time, goes away on its own and is rarely deadly.
Similarly, hepatitis E also causes only a mild short-term illness, except in pregnant women, who are more likely to face severe liver damage once infected with this infection. Contaminated water and intaking unhealthy, unprotected food are one of the major reasons of hepatitis A & E infections, which have high prevalence rate in Pakistan.
Coming to hepatitis B and C, these viruses are transmitted through a contact with an infected person’s blood. According to statistics, 5% of Pakistan’s total population suffers from hepatitis C alone. Hepatitis B & C cause long-term infections leading to severe damage to the liver with deadly consequences. Such infections progress towards chronic liver diseases such as liver cirrhosis, liver cancer & viral hepatitis-related deaths.
Hepatitis C can be detected at earlies stages through blood tests and if diagnosed well at earlier stages, both the hepatitis B & C can be treated through anti-viral medications, thus significantly reducing the risks of shrinking of liver, known as liver cirrhosis and liver cancer-related deaths.
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) – Complications & Preventions
We’ll discuss more about hepatitis C. HCV is bloodborne, which means you can only transmit or contract the virus through blood that carries the virus. It can either be acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis C has no symptoms at all. If you do notice any symptom within a week or two after the exposure, they could clear up on their own in just a matter of few weeks.
On the other end, symptoms of chronic hepatitis C can develop or worsen over a period of months or even years. You might not be able to notice any symptoms until they become severe. In such cases, the point at when you notice any symptom, the things have already gone beyond from where you can control the situation.
Despite knowing about appearing hepatitis C symptoms, if you leave it untreated, HCV can cause life-threatening health complications such as liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver failure & liver cancer. So far, there is no vaccine available for hepatitis C virus. Despite, we can still prevent it by adopting certain precautions.
The best way to protect yourself from hepatitis C virus is to avoid using any items that may have come into contact with someone else’s blood. We can do this by;
- Not sharing razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes
- Not sharing needles or syringes
- Wearing gloves when cleaning or treating someone else’s wound
- Practicing safe sex
At Dr. Akbar Niazi Teaching Hospital, the team of best doctors and surgeons are available 24/7 to deal with any kind of emergency situation. They provide detailed consultation to patients in OPD and Specialty Clinics. Besides, ANTH also offers state-of-the-art surgical services under the supervision of the best doctors of liver in Islamabad.