Sat, 20 Apr, 2024

Hepatitis virus, seen in Kathmandu

By Raju Shrestha

  Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver caused by infection. It can occur due to virus and toxin present in alcohol, careless use of medicines such as ayurvedic medicines as well as allopathic generally used for the treatment of tuberculosis, antibiotics, and others. Hepatitis caused due to virus is known as viral hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is widely spread all over the world affecting 400 million people which is 10 times more than the people infected with HIV. About 1.4 million people die every year due to hepatitis as per the data provided by WHO. “Hepatitis A and E are common in Nepal, especially during the monsoon months. These types of hepatitis occur due to the intake of contaminated food and water,” informs Dr Bikash Jaishi, DM (Hepatology), Liver Unit, Senior Resident, Bir Hospital, Kathmandu. “At least 40 to 50 patients of viral hepatitis visit our OPD daily during the rainy season.” Mostly hepatitis virus is found in food and water contaminated with feces during the rainy season. Virus transmits when an uninfected person takes contaminated food and water so one must be very careful towards the health and one must take boiled water and well-cooked and properly washed food. Hepatitis B also transmits through infected blood transmission, unsafe sexual contact and due to infected needles used by health professionals. The liver of a person infected with hepatitis B swells. The patient can suffer seriously from liver damage problems due to the infection which can lead to cancer. There is 50 to 60 percent chance for the transmission of hepatitis B from mother to child. If she takes antivirus during her pregnancy and if vaccines and immune-globin are immediately taken after the delivery of child then the risk of transmission from mother to child will be less. Hepatitis C is transmitted through the use of sterilized and infected needles and syringes, transfusion of blood. And it can also be transmitted sexually or passed through an infected mother to her child. People who consume alcohol have a greater chance of causing liver cirrhosis. Hepatitis D is another type of hepatitis caused by virus HDV (Hepatitis D Virus). Infection is through contact with infected blood, unsafe sexual contact, and perforation of the skin with infected needles. The liver person who suffers from Hepatitis D swells. It is propagated only in the presence of Hepatitis B virus. It does not occur if Hepatitis B is not present so to prevent hepatitis D infection one must be safe from hepatitis B. Another type is Hepatitis G which is caused by a specific virus (HVG). Mostly liver damage is caused by the hepatitis A, B, and C, however, some forms of hepatitis are caused by alcohol consumption and also due to the low autoimmune system. Symptoms of hepatitis: People suffering from hepatitis undergo diarrhea, fatigue, mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, pain on the right side of the abdomen, muscles and joint pain, vomiting and laziness, weight loss. As the acute phase is not dangerous but it develops into rapidly progressing form a person leads to death. A person has circulation problems, dark urine, drowsiness, dizziness, enlarged spleen, headache, itchy skin, light color feces, yellow skin and also white eyes and tongue and initial symptoms are very similar to the flu. Prevention ways to be followed: To prevent oneself from causing hepatitis A and E virus, one must take care of their health. One must be very aware of the personal hygiene and sanitation maintenance. One must consume fresh and well-cooked Food and pure water. One should not take alcohol and unnecessary medicines which damage the liver. One must take three doses of vaccines with the gap of 1 month for second dose and 6 months after the intake of the first dose. One must not use others blades, toothbrush, and toothpaste if he/she is suffering from hepatitis B or C. Only use clean syringes that have not been used by anyone else. A patient with hepatitis B needs to rest and have a diet that is high in protein and carbohydrate to repair damaged liver cells, as well as to protect the liver. If this is not enough then the patient requires interferon which is an antiviral agent. To prevent from this dangerous disease one must follow the above measures and one should immediately consult a doctor if any health problem arises. Image: