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Many who carry virus go undetected, says expert

28 Juillet 2017

It is one of the most unsafe diseases of the world and is often called life-threatening.

CEVHAP's Asia Pacific Hepatitis Policy 2016 Survey shows that nationwide access to services from diagnosis to treatment is not available.

"These viruses are like silent killers".

As per recent statistics, about 400 million people around the world are living with Hepatitis B or C. Of these, 52 million are in India alone.

There are five main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.

But B and C are on the rise globally and are getting to a burden status requiring quick intervention.

Viral hepatitis is a public health threat worldwide, but a particular danger in South Africa because of the high prevalence of HIV. Adding that with the emergence of new antiviral drugs over 95% of the people with hepatitis can be completely cured of the virus within 3-6 mon6ths.

The good news is that there is vaccination available against hepatitis B virus.

He, however, said there is a need to create awareness and understanding of the disease and associated risk factors, investment in laboratory capacity to confirm and monitor treatment as well access to cheaper treatment. It is mainly transmitted through drinking water contaminated with faecal matter.

Hepatitis D Virus: Not that hard to deal with, HDV can get serious when it infects those who already have HBV.

The hepatitis C virus is a blood-borne virus and the most common modes of infection are through exposure to small quantities of blood which may happen through injection drug use, unsafe injection practices, unsafe health care, and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products, or sexual contact with an infected person. The reason why many people often do not identify Hepatitis is because it does not have any strong, obvious symptoms.

Million people are suffering from Hepatitis Virus. Left untreated, around 25% will develop cirrhosis and, without successful treatment, up to 10% of those with cirrhosis will progress to life-threatening liver cancer or liver failure. Preventing the transmission of these viruses with all possible precautions is more important to decrease its occurrence. It is transmitted through contaminated blood transfusions, needles and in some patients the cause is unknown.

Meanwhile, WHO in a press statement released on Tuesday called for increased access to DAAs. Nearly two to three per cent of the Indian population is said to be affected by Hepatitis.

"Giving vaccine works because we've seen case levels of hepatitis A and B drop in Florida. Now there is not".

Pakistan has the world's second highest prevalence of hepatitis C, second only to Egypt. However, the occurrence of Hepatitis C is uncommon in such cases.

In Singapore alone, about 160,000 people suffer from hepatitis B, a viral infection that affects the liver.

The 2015 Theme "Prevention of Viral Hepatitis".

Dr Avinash Phadke, President Technology & Mentor (Clinical Pathology), SRL Diagnostics said, "Hepatitis has largely been ignored as a health and development priority".

In early November, WHO and its partners will convene World Hepatitis Summit 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil, which promises to be the largest global event to advance the viral hepatitis agenda, bringing together key players. Hepatitis C can be eliminated from New Zealand within the next 20 years but to achieve this, we must increase testing and treatment in primary care'. Let's put the severity of this disease in perspective: over 40 million people are chronically infected with Hepatitis B and close to 12 million are chronically infected with Hepatitis C, making this the leading cause of death over HIV.

Many who carry virus go undetected, says expert