Acute liver failures attribute to Hepatitis-E says Expert

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NewZNew (Chandigarh) : As many as 200 members of Sr Citizens Welfare Association, Manimajra attended a health workshop ‘Hepatitis-a Silent Epidemic Challenge in India’ at Community Hall , Manimajra today. The seminar was organized by Max Super Specialty Hospital ( MSSH), Mohali to mark World Hepatitis Day.

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The seminar was attended by at MSSH  and Dr. Nikhil Kulkarni, Sr. Consultant, Gastroenterology, MSSH. Also presented on the occasion were; Mr. Sandeep Dogra, VP-Operations, MSSH, Mr. Amrit Dhingra, President -Sr Citizens Welfare Association and noted author, Col Gurusewak Singh.

Speaking during occasion, Dr. Dilawari said that Hepatitis was the inflammation of the liver which was caused by viruses A, B, C, D or E. These viruses could be distinguished depending on the predominant mode of transmission — water or blood — and showed significant differences in their epidemiology, presentation, prevention and control.”

Talking about water-borne viral Hepatitis , Dr. Dilawari informed that globally, an estimated 1.4 million cases of Hepatitis A virus ( HAV) infection occurred annually. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) was the most important cause of epidemic Hepatitis. HAV was more common among children, however most acute liver failures diagnosed in India were attributable to HEV. Also , HEV was the most common cause of Hepatitis during pregnancy.”

Informing on transmission of  HAV and HEV,  he said that these were transmitted through the fecal–oral route, due to ingestion of contaminated water, sewage-contaminated and inadequately treated water. Mixing of contaminated soil into wells and rivers during rains or floods has also been associated with HEV outbreaks in India.”

The prevention and control of HAV and HEV could easily be achieved by improvements in sanitation and sewage disposal, measures for water, food safety and personal hygiene practices., said Dr. Kulkarni adding the symptoms of viral hepatitis included , jaundice, feeling tired, stomach ache, nausea, diarrhea, no appetite, fever and headaches.

Dr. Kulkarni further said that vaccine against HAV was effective lifelong , whereas no vaccine was available for Hepatitis E. Thus one should take precautions like sharing needles or personal items such as tooth brushes, razors, unsafe sex with an infected person.

Talking about blood-borne viral Hepatitis, Dr Nadkarni said that Hepatitis virus B (HBV), Hepatitis virus D (HDV) and Hepatitis virus C (HCV) were predominantly transmitted through the blood route thus posed a serious “silent epidemic” challenge to India. HBV was the second most common cause of acute viral hepatitis after HEV in India. Every year, one million Indians are at risk for HBV and about 100,000 die from HBV infection. Vaccination for Hepatitis B is widely available but not yet for C.”