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Hepatitis B - A silent dangerous disease

Hepatitis B is an infection caused by the hepatitis B virus that can be fatal. It is a global, silent disease that can cause chronic hepatitis and can significantly increase the risk of future death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis B - A silent dangerous disease

Hepatitis B is an infection caused by the hepatitis B virus that can be fatal. It is a global, silent disease that can cause chronic hepatitis and can significantly increase the risk of future death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.

  • So how is the hepatitis B virus transmitted?
  • Symptoms that you should not ignore?
  • And how is the treatment protocol for hepatitis B according to each stage.

Fortunately, now that the widespread vaccination against hepatitis B has a high efficiency of protection from 98-100%, it will contribute to the control of hepatitis B in the community and reduce the rate of hepatitis B, thereby protecting protect us from the risk of liver cancer.

However, the prevalence of hepatitis B is still quite high with up to 18 million people infected in Southeast Asia and other parts of the world, the number may be even higher according to the latest WHO statistics in 2022.

1) Where is hepatitis B silently transmitted?

People usually get hepatitis B in the following ways:

Through a needle contaminated with the blood of a person infected with hepatitis B virus

When we share needles with someone infected with hepatitis B, we will get the disease. Therefore, activities such as tattooing, acupuncture, or piercing ... if the tools are not disinfected well, you will likely be infected. Therefore, when going to the above service facilities, you should check and ask staff to disinfect thoroughly or use disposable tools to reduce the risk of infection.

Sex

This is the most common route of hepatitis B infection. So if you have hepatitis B, you should bring your partner to be tested and vaccinated for hepatitis B.

Mother passed it on to me

A mother with hepatitis B can pass it on to her baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth, and cesarean section has not been shown to reduce hepatitis B transmission rates. However, organizations World health still agrees that mothers infected with hepatitis B can still breastfeed their babies and still be safe for their babies.

Therefore, to prevent this route of transmission, all pregnant women should be screened for hepatitis B infection with HBsAg, if positive, they must go to a specialist for detailed advice.

Close contact

Hepatitis B can still be spread through close contact with an infected person if the infected person's blood or secretions get into your skin, mouth, or eyes. Hepatitis B virus, which lives for a very long time in the outside environment (at least maybe up to 7 days), which shows that the virus can be transmitted if sharing household utensils such as utensils and equipment. toys, toothbrushes, or razors, even shared manicure tools that are not thoroughly disinfected. However, only touching, hugging, shaking hands, or sharing food or eating utensils does not cause hepatitis B infection.

Blood transfusions and organ transplants: are almost rare nowadays because blood transfusions and blood transfusions are screened for hepatitis B and performed with strict aseptic procedures.

2) Symptoms of Hepatitis B

When infected, it is very difficult for customers to detect the disease because the symptoms are quite diverse. When first infected, some people will have flu-like symptoms such as:

    Fever, mild abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, a few may see jaundice, yellow eyes.

In rare cases, severe, moderate infection can lead to acute liver failure manifesting as:

    Jaundice, ascites, and disturbances of consciousness. However, most people are infected with no symptoms at all, especially when infected in childhood.

We should know that the absence of symptoms does not mean that the disease is not infected or that the disease is not severe because most patients with chronic hepatitis B are asymptomatic until they present with advanced liver disease. The most common symptom is vague fatigue. Every patient with hepatitis B is at risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Acute viral hepatitis B

          When first infected, patients develop acute hepatitis B, most of whom will recover spontaneously. However, about 5% of patients the virus does not clear itself, but resides in the liver, where they will multiply from year to year, at this time they are carriers of the virus, when the liver is infected long enough the patient turns to viral hepatitis vi B chronic.

Chronic hepatitis B virus

          Chronic hepatitis B is common in patients who were infected with hepatitis B at an early age (usually at birth). This situation is quite common in our country and Southeast Asian countries, China, where 1 in 10 people is chronically infected with hepatitis B virus. Many patients with chronic hepatitis B have no symptoms at all, if they have fatigue and loss of appetite.

3) Diagnosis of hepatitis B

There are many tests used to diagnose hepatitis B

- Surface antigen (HBsAg): HBsAg is an antigen on the surface of hepatitis B virus. HBsAg will be positive after 1-10 weeks of infection, if the patient recovers it will disappear in 6 months, if after If HBsAg is still present in the blood for 6 months, it means that you have chronic hepatitis B infection.

- Hepatitis B Surface Antibodies (AntiHBs): These antibodies help the body fight hepatitis B, if you have it it could mean that you have been infected with hepatitis B and recovered or you have already recovered. Hepatitis B vaccine. A person who has enough AntiHBs has immunity against hepatitis B

- Hepatitis B core antibody (AntiHBc): It only appears if you have been or are currently infected with hepatitis B virus.

- Hepatitis B antigen (HBeAg): Shows that hepatitis B is proliferating in the blood, when this marker is positive, it shows that the virus concentration is high in the patient's blood and the patient is very contagious.

- Hepatitis B e antibody (AntiHBe): When this antibody is present, proliferation has decreased.

- HBV DNA: is the genetic material found in hepatitis B virus. Measurement of HBV DNA can show viral levels in the blood.

- Other tests: to assess liver damage and liver function your doctor will need to evaluate your treatment.

4) Treatment of hepatitis B

Does everyone with hepatitis B need treatment?

Most adults with acute hepatitis B do not need specific treatment because the body's immune system is enough to control the infection and clears it up on its own within 6 months.

In people who already have chronic hepatitis B, treatment for hepatitis B reduces liver damage and prevents long-term complications of hepatitis B. However, not everyone needs treatment. Immediately, you must be monitored by a doctor and treated only when chronic hepatitis B is active.

And when you have been treated, you must monitor and periodically check and do not arbitrarily stop taking the drug. When you want to examine and treat hepatitis B, patients should learn about reputable medical facilities specializing in gastroenterology - hepatobiliary diseases with modern medical equipment, a team of experienced doctors to meet the needs of patients. meet treatment needs.

In addition, patients should also consider the quality of accompanying services to bring more convenience and comfort because this is a disease that may require a long treatment time. Currently, the treatment of hepatitis B has been covered by the State Health Insurance, which helps reduce a part of the burden of hepatitis B treatment costs for patients. Patients should be treated at large hospitals to be covered by insurance; Avoid going to less reputable addresses so as not to encounter unnecessary "money loss".

5) 7 Secrets to protect a healthy liver

    Immunizations: You should be vaccinated against hepatitis B before you have it, if you have you should get the hepatitis A vaccine and the flu vaccine every year, and the Covid-19 vaccine and other common shots such as diphtheria, tetanus and repeat periodically

    Liver disease screening: You should periodically screen for liver disease, especially in the elderly, people with cirrhosis or a family member with liver cancer.
    Diet: There is currently no specific regimen that can improve the disease for hepatitis B patients. You just need to eat a variety, balanced nutrition and maintain a reasonable weight.
    Stop drinking alcohol: Hepatitis B patients must stop drinking because it will make liver disease worse. Patients with hepatitis B can develop liver complications even with small amounts of alcohol.
    Quit smoking: Smoking is inherently bad for health, some studies show that smoking increases the risk of liver cancer in patients with hepatitis B
    Exercise: very good for people with hepatitis B
    Prescription and nonprescription drugs: Many drugs can affect the liver. Therefore, when you have liver disease, you must ask your doctor when you want to take a new medicine. However, unless the liver is already cirrhotic, most drugs are still safe for patients with hepatitis B. However, patients should not take more than 2000mg of paracetamol/day. Patients with hepatitis B should also avoid ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin when they have cirrhosis.

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