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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Some Facts About Hepatitis

Posted by Dr Prahallad Panda on 9:41 PM Comments

According to an estimate of the WHO (World Health Organization) around one third of the global population, or 2 billion people, have been infected with one of the hepatitis viruses, which kills about a million victims annually.
 Hepatitis A Distribution 2005Distribution of Hepatitis in 2005
Although most of them carry hepatitis virus, are not aware of it and unknowingly transmit it to others. At some point of time in their lives it may develop to such diseases like chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of liver or cancer that can kill or disable them.
The first U.N. World Hepatitis Day conference, the world body to raised concern over the viral disease that largely spread by contaminated water, food, blood, semen and other body fluids. Hepatitis C can spread sexually, particularly in patients of AIDS.
The disease is caused by five main hepatitis viruses; A, B, C, D and E; and has the potential to spark epidemics.
A new WHO document says, hepatitis B was the most common virus to cause disease and can be transmitted by mothers to infants at birth; in early childhood through use of contaminated syringes or blood transfusions.
The A and E virus, transmitted through infected water or food, are common causes of outbreaks of the disease in developing countries and are increasingly observed in developed economies.
The WHO says effective vaccines had been developed to combat the A and B viruses and can also be used against D. A vaccine for hepatitis E had been developed but not available widely, while there was none for the C virus.
Vaccination campaigns has been a considerable success in many countries, with about 180 of the WHO's 193 member states now including the B vaccine in infant immunization programs.
But more needed to be done to prevent or control the disease. It was vital to ensure that people already infected could be tested and given quality care and treatment without delay.
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