Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that's caused by a variety of contagious viruses and non-infectious agents leading to a range of health problems, some of which can be fatal. There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus, known as types A, B, C, D and E. While their infection results in liver disease, they differ in important ways including modes of transmission, severity of the illness, geographical distribution and prevention methods.
An estimated 354 million people worldwide having no access to testing and treatment live with hepatitis B or C.
Some types of hepatitis are preventable through vaccination. A WHO study found that an estimated 4.5 million premature deaths could be averted in low-and middle- income countries by 2030 through vaccination, individual tests, drugs and education campaigns. WHO’s global hepatitis strategy, championed by all WHO Member States, aims to reduce new hepatitis infections by 90 and deaths by 65 between 2016 and 2030.
In this first part of the article, we shall discuss the following aspects of hepatitis:
- Mode of transmission
- Sign and symptoms
- Groups at risk
- Relationship of HBV and HIV infection H
- How to confirm the diagnosis
- Sample MCQs