HEPATITIS B (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech -Dieseases)

News-CRUX-10     26th March 2024        
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Context: According to a recent study conducted by Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, public knowledge and awareness about Hepatitis B, a deadly disease that can lead to end-stage liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, is dismal in India.


Hepatitis:

  • About: Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.

oHepatitis B: Some people with hepatitis B are sick for only a few weeks (known as “acute” infection), but for others, the disease progresses to a serious, lifelong illness known as chronic hepatitis B.

  • Causes of Hepatitis: Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world but other infections, toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain drugs), and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.
  • Types of Hepatitis

oViral Hepatitis: Includes Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.

oNon-viral Hepatitis: Encompasses autoimmune hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, and drug-induced hepatitis.

  • Transmission: It is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluids – even in microscopic amounts  from a person infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected-.
  • Symptoms: Include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, etc.
  • Prevention: Vaccines are available to prevent hepatitis A, B and E. However, no vaccine for hepatitis C.
  • Treatment: There's no specific treatment for acute hepatitis B, while chronic infection can be managed with oral medications like tenofovir or entecavir.
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