Signs, symptoms and treatment of chronic hepa-B.
Hepatitis is perhaps one of the most common diseases in the Philippines. Patients with Hepatitis, even when treated already, are some of the most discriminated in the society, especially in the workplaces because Hepatitis virus remains in the body and can resurface anytime. While some types of Hepatitis, particularly Hepatitis A, can easily be treated with continuous medication, the patient will forever be a carrier of the disease.
Said to be a silent Filipino epidemic Hepatitis B is one of the most dangerous types. According to the latest study by the World Health Organization, about 400 million people worldwide are infected with chronic hepatitis B. In the Philippines, 8-12% or more or less 8 million have been found to have an indication of chronic viral infection of Hepatitis B, while 70% have already been exposed to the disease making the country the worst in the Western Pacific Region.
“The danger of Hepatitis B lies in its silent transmission and progression. Many hepatitis B and C carriers have no symptoms and feel perfectly healthy,” said Dr. Erlinda Valdellon, president of the Hepatology Society of the Philippines President.
The modes of transmission of Hepatitis B are similar to HIV/AIDS which unlike Hepatitis A which can be transmitted through saliva or eating food contaminated with Hepatitis A. People who have an active sex life especially with different partners are very much prone to the disease while the sharing of needles, razors and tattooing instruments are also some of the major cause of transmission as well as the use of dental tools that are not properly sterilized or disinfected. Meanwhile almost 40% of chronic Hepatitis B are transmitted through vertical transmission or acquired by the newborn from an infected mother. Worst, Hepatitis B can be transmitted from one child to another. Chronic Hepatitis B leads to different infection, the most common of which are liver cancer, cirrhosis, chronic liver disease and liver failure.
Similar to the dangers posed by Hepatitis B can be found from the not so common Hepatitis B. Hepatitis C, unlike Hepatitis A and B cannot be prevented by vaccination but is also spread through sex, birth, contaminated needles and even dental tools. There are approximately 170 million Hepatitis C infected worldwide, while in the Philippines, Hepatitis C posed a minimal prevalence of 2-4% but recovery from the disease is only 15%. While 90% of Hepatitis B patient will recover during adulthood, most Hepatitis C patients eventually die of liver cancer, cirrhosis or liver failure. Those found to have chronic Hepatitis C are IV drug users, health workers, patients undergoing dialysis as well as organ beneficiaries from infected persons.