New Delhi, 1st March 2019: Improvements in screening, prevention, and treatment in high-burden countries such as India, China, and Pakistan will reduce the impact of liver diseases and complications globally. By 2030, these measures can avert 15.1 million new hepatitis C infections and 1.5 million cirrhosis and liver cancer deaths worldwide. These findings were part of a study published in the journal Lancet
As per a recent educational module on India’s fastest growing healthcare video education platform - Medtalks.in, Implementing comprehensive blood safety and infection control measures was estimated to reduce the number of new infections in 2030 by 58%. Extending harm reduction services to 40% of people who inject drugs could reduce the number of new infections by a further 7 percentage points. Together, this would prevent 14.1 million new infections by 2030.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI,Editor in Chief IJCP and Medtalks and President Elect CMAOO said, “HIV, HBV and HCV have similar routes of transmission. They spread by contact with infected body fluids such as blood, semen and vaginal fluid, or from a mother to her baby during pregnancy or delivery. Because of these shared routes of transmission, people at risk for HIV infection are also at risk for HBV or HCV infection. Of these, hepatitis B is more infectious.Transmission of hepatitis C virus can occur from infected fluid splashes to the conjunctiva. Hepatitis C virus can survive on environmental surfaces for up to 16 hours.”
Hepatitis B is 10 times more infectious than HCV and 50–100 times more infectious than HIV. The HBV can survive in dried blood for up to 7 days and remains capable of causing infection. This makes hepatitis B a more dangerous infection than HIV.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal said, “Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Acute hepatitis due to any virus is usually self-limiting and requires a good diet, bed rest and only symptomatic treatment. Urgent hospitalization may be required only in cases of acute liver failure in acute viral hepatitis. One may also need intensive treatment and liver transplant. Chronic hepatitis B and C can be treated with antiviral drugs both oral and injectable. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is curable now and HBV can be controlled with medication. The vaccine is available for hepatitis A virus and HBV only.”
Some tips from HCFI
- Maintain quality standards for public water supplies
- Establish proper disposal systems for human feces
- Maintain hygienic practices such as handwashing with safe water, particularly before handling food
- Avoid consumption of water and/or ice of unknown purity
- Get immunized at regular intervals as advised
- Ensure safe blood transfusion and safe injection
- Test any donated blood for hepatitis B and C
- Indulge in safe sex and promote correct and consistent use of condoms
A medical webinar on this topic can be accessed at https://www.medtalks.in/articles/can-sgot-sgpt-level-demonstrate-the-extent-of-liver-damage.
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