Prevention 30 July, 2016 Isabel Vallejo
Hepatitis is a silent disease that, although affecting millions of people worldwide, can be prevented by adopting certain basic measures.
Hepatitis is an infectious disease in the category of viral infections. There are several types of hepatitis, such as hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.
The WHO has explained that hepatitis A and E are usually caused by consuming contaminated food or water, while hepatitis B, C and D usually develop by having direct contact with infected body fluids, such as the transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products, which is the most common form of infection. There are different alternatives in order to prevent these viral diseases, depending on the type of hepatitis:
- Hepatitis A and B: there is a specific vaccine that prevents the onset and development of the disease.
- Hepatitis B, C and D: prevention begins at home. You should avoid sharing personal items such as razors or toothbrushes, and be careful with regard to the use of syringes, which should always be disposable and sterile. Also, avoid using unsterilized instruments when getting body piercings or tattoos.
- Hepatitis A and E: prevention measures can range from things as simple as washing your hands after using the restroom, especially when you have been in contact with blood or feces, and properly washing your food and purifying your water.
In order to foster actions to reduce the number of cases of illness or death in connection with these viral hepatitides, the World Health Organization (WHO) established the Global Hepatitis Program, as well as the World Hepatitis Day, which will be celebrated on the 28th of July and is meant to “raise awareness of viral hepatitides and the diseases they cause, and to disseminate knowledge about them.”
Understanding the risks and mechanisms of contagion is a first step to address these infectious diseases that continue to affect hundreds of millions of people around the world.