400 million people are infected with Hepatitis worldwide. Hepatitis is responsible for 400 deaths per day and also accounts for 80% of liver cancers. On the occasion of World Hepatitis Day, Dr Rajnish Monga, has a conversation with Paras Blog Editors.
Simple blood tests can detect Hepatitis B and C at an early stage before liver damage. If Hepatitis remains undetected the same can complicate into cirrhosis and liver cancer. The simple blood tests are HBsAg for Hepatitis B and Anti HCV antibody for Hepatitis C.
If a person is detected to have either of the two viral infections on screening, he can be treated appropriately by the liver specialists / gastroenterologists with good end results. It is now believed that severe liver disease due to hepatitis B and C viruses can be prevented, and the progression can be stopped and even partly reversed with the current available medication.
There is little awareness amongst the public about Hepatitis B and C. Most of the time these viruses are detected during blood donation or health checkups or family screening of patients. Hepatitis B awareness is more than Hepatitis C which is relatively a newly discovered virus. E need to ensure that people are forthcoming for their detection tests and are ready to opt for vaccination for the same.
Blood tests don’t prevent Hepatitis. They can detect the virus before it causes damage to the liver hence preventing cirrhosis and liver cancer. Other causes of hepatitis include Hepatitis A and E, alcohol, medications etc.
The other tests to check for liver status are