Quite often, patients with liver cancer are found to be diagnosed with Hepatitis B which goes unnoticed in the early stages. Hence, patients with chronic hepatitis B or C without cirrhosis should follow standard precautions for and safeguard themselves against coronavirus infection.
In Nigeria, an estimated number of 190 million people, have Hepatitis B prevalence of 8.1% and Hepatitis C at 1.1%, based on a recent Nigeria HIV/AIDS indicator and impact survey (NAIIS) report.
Hepatitis B and C, although chronic diseases, have treatment in the form of antivirals.
There is no vaccination for hepatitis apart from hepatitis A and B. Other strains of this disease can be prevented by taking precautions including avoiding consumption of raw food, unfiltered water. While the prevalence of viral hepatitis in Pakistan is staggering and of concern, there is hope for achieving this virus free future. One of the most common causes of chronic (long-term) hepatitis is a viral infection.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that even though hepatitis is preventable and curable, millions of people are living with the disease globally.
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Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb urged people to spread awareness for Hepatitis-free future and said, "With the lack of awareness, millions of people across the globe are losing their lives to this deadly infection".
Thus, when your liver is damaged, essential body functions are hindered.
Leon Wylie, lead officer of Hepatitis Scotland, said: "Covid has interrupted Scotland's progression towards eliminating hepatitis C as a public health issue by 2024".
"There is an urgent need to screen the entire Pakistani society for hepatitis B and C", he observed. Liver cancer is also a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for over700,000 deaths each year (over 1,900 deaths daily).
The theme of this year's World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is "FIND THE MISSING MILLIONS", a clarion call for everyone to take action and raise awareness to find the ignorant multitudes, who are unaware of their hepatitis infection.
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To avoid getting infected with hepatitis, maintain proper hygiene, practice safe sex and avoid contact with contaminated persons, equipment and blood.
Doctors also recommend not sharing toothbrushes, nail clippers, razors etc which can carry viruses from one person to another. Symptoms of Hepatitis A or E infection can include jaundice, stomach pain, change in the colour of urine, and change in excretion, appetite loss, pain in the joints, loose motions, fatigue, fever etc.
World Health Organization recommends that all infants receive a first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after birth - preferably within 24 hours - followed by at least two additional doses. Available evidence also indicates that those at high risk of infection, including people who inject drugs and people in prison, are not being effectively targeted for testing. However, signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis appear quickly.
What can people with Hepatitis do in times of COVID-19?
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