World Hepatitis Day 2020: Understanding The Importance Of Early Diagnosis And Prevention
World Hepatitis Day 2020: This day tries to create awareness about this serious liver condition. In many cases the disease remains undiscovered. In this article you will understand the need to follow all preventive measures for hepatitis.
The theme for the World Hepatitis Day 2020 is 'hepatitis free future'
World Hepatitis Day, observed on 28 July each year tries to spread awareness about this serious infectious disease. Hepatitis is a disease caused by viral infection which leads to inflammation of the liver. There are five main hepatitis viruses, classified as types A, B, C, D and E. Among them Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can persist for more than 6 months, leading to chronic hepatitis. If the condition is left untreated it can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Dr, Karan Kumar explains the need to follow all preventive measures and early diagnosis.
Word Hepatitis Day 2020: Diagnosis of this liver disease
Major problem encountered while tackling Hepatitis B and C is that it remains silent for and damages the liver slowly and progressively leading to fatal liver damage and liver cancer.
According to WHO, It is estimated that around 300 million people worldwide are living with the hepatitis B virus or the hepatitis C virus. Out of them, around 60 million are in India. The worst part is, around 80% of these people are not even aware of their infection. This can lead to development of liver cirrhosis or liver cancer at some point in their lives and in some cases, unknowingly transmitting the infection to others. This epidemic of Hepatitis B and C is known as a silent epidemic/killer because in most of the cases people get to know about the disease, when it is too late.
Why is it important to diagnose viral hepatitis?
These deaths caused by Hepatitis B and C are preventable. There is safe and effective vaccination for Hepatitis B along with some drugs which can easily help to treat Hepatitis B. Although, there is no specific vaccine available for Hepatitis C but there are effective treatment available, which can cure the illness.
To check this silent epidemic of Hepatitis B and C there is need to scale-up screening, diagnosis and linkage to care. This can happen only if people are aware of the burden and severity of the disease, otherwise viral hepatitis will continue to spread, leading to an estimated number of 76 million new infections and 18.1 million deaths which are preventable, from viral hepatitis by 2030.
So, to save millions of lives there is urgent need to find the 'missing millions' not diagnosed yet.
(Dr. Karan Kumar, Consultant Haepatology & Transplant Physician, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Bangalore)
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