Hepatitis diseases B, A, and C are all viral diseases and the most common ones of the Hepatitis virus. Hepatitis B particularly affects the liver. The virus is found in the blood as well as other body fluids of people who are infected with the diseases. In the world, there are approximately 350 million people with the virus. However, out of these, it is the long term hepatitis B diseases victims that are more at risk of developing serious liver complications like cancer and cirrhosis.
Hepatitis B diseases carriers might not present any vivid symptoms until the infection stage. But amazingly, many recover from the attack after which they develop immunity to the virus. However, there are still others that fail to fully recover and these ones eventually become carriers of the virus. It is the carriers that in most cases pass on the virus to other people.
The hepatitis B diseases carriers in most cases do not succumb to any health complications for a long time. This is what is known as the long term Hepatitis B. However, when they do succumb to the symptoms, the effects are severe liver problems as stated before.
Both the Hepatitis B carriers and those at the infection stage can transmit the disease. According to studies, the infection rate of Hepatitis B diseases is higher than that of HIV by between 50-100 times. The disease is transmitted mainly through body fluids and blood in the following ways:
- Through unprotected sex, regardless of whether it is oral, anal or vaginal sex with an infected person.
- Through sharing of sharp and injective objects such as razor blades, tattooing objects, body piercing equipment and needles without sterilizing them first.
- During delivery, an infected mother can transmit the disease to her child. However, this can be prevented by having the baby immunized at birth.
- Through unscreened blood transfusions.
There are however many rumors and myths about ways through which Hepatitis B diseases are transmitted. The disease cannot be transmitted through the following means:
- Coming into contact with an infected person’s feces.
Virtually anyone who isn’t vaccinated can be infected with Hepatitis B diseases. However, the age that is most affected by the disease is between 22 and 44 years. This is followed by the group between 15 and 24 years. In terms of gender, men are twice more likely to be infected with the disease as compared to ladies. Moreover, Asians are the race that is at the highest risk of contracting the disease than other races in the world. Approximately 600,000 people die from Hepatitis B each and every year.
Despite the threat that the Hepatitis B diseases pose to human health, the disease is still manageable and can be treated. The best prevention measure is to get vaccinated against it. Successful vaccination against the disease should be able to last five years or more. Moreover, people with Hepatitis B should also get tested for hepatitis A and C because these two also increase the risks that come with the HBV virus and the effectiveness of the treatment.
Sources and Citations