If you thought AIDS was the most life-threatening disease, think again!
This World Hepatitis Day let’s educate ourselves about the deadliest of Hepatitis- Viral Hepatitis. It can strike at any time and you won’t even have a clue that you’ve got it, for it may have little or no symptoms at all. No wonder it has been dubbed the ‘Silent Killer’
It’s a disease that doesn’t consider age, gender, caste or creed. Viral Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere! It comes as no surprise that it’s one of the world’s leading causes of death, ahead of AIDS and Malaria. And surprisingly 95% of those infected have been unaware that they are infected!
So, first let’s learn the A, B, and C’s of Hepatitis!
Hepatitis is classified into five types- A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis basically targets your liver, and the damage it causes can vary from mild liver inflammation and jaundice to liver cirrhosis and cancer!
While Hepatitis A, D and E have more prominent symptoms, which make it easier to diagnose, Hepatitis B and C are the silent killers that cause liver cancer, which is usually diagnosed only during the final stages making it untreatable.
Another reason why people don’t realize that they have got Viral Hepatitis is because its symptoms are similar to the common flu which includes fever, cough, and cold, lack of appetite, stomach pain, weakness, and nausea!
Now let’s get to know about how this deadly disease spreads!
The spread of Viral Hepatitis has an uncanny similarity to how HIV spreads, sans others of course. The most common ways for it to spread are:
· Through blood - During blood transfusion. Using the same syringe, razor blade, toothbrush, etc. that has been used by an infected person.
· Through bodily fluids and saliva- If one individual of the couple is infected, the other is prone to get the virus.
· Contaminated food or water- This is more prone in third world countries where there is a scarcity of resources.
So, as mentioned earlier, don’t take its symptoms for granted and associate it with the common flu! Get yourself properly diagnosed if the symptoms are persistent. Fever, cough and cold, et al.! As the saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine!
Can Viral Hepatitis be prevented?
Yes! The answer lies in taking a vaccination for the same at the earliest. And ensure that your loved ones take it too. For prevention is always better than cure!
Let’s sign off by saying- “If you haven’t vaccinated yourself, do it now. And silence the silent killer forever!”