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Hepatitis B

Topics Covered:

  1. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

 

Hepatitis B

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Causes, symptoms and prevention of the disease.

For Mains: Concerns, spread of the disease and ways to address them.

 

Context: On September 3, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand became the first four countries in the World Health Organization’s southeast Asia region to have successfully controlled hepatitis B

The virus is said to be controlled when the disease prevalence is reduced to less than 1% among children less than five years of age.

 

India’s scenario:

  1. Despite the introduction of hepatitis B vaccine in the Universal Immunisation Programme in 2002 and scaling-up nationwide in 2011, about one million people in India become chronically infected with the virus every year.
  2. Despite the high vaccination coverage, disease prevalence in children aged less than five years has not dropped below 1%. One of the reasons for this is the sub-optimal coverage of birth dose in all infants within 24 hours of birth.

 

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected.

Causes: Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can all cause hepatitis. However, hepatitis is often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common hepatitis viruses are hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus.

 

What is the difference between hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C?

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are liver infections caused by three different viruses.

  1. Hepatitis A is usually a short-term infection and does not become a long-term infection.
  2. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can also begin as short-term infections but in some people, the virus remains in the body, and causes chronic, or lifelong, infection.

There are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B; however, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

 

How is hepatitis B spread?

The hepatitis B virus is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. 

 

Sources: the Hindu.