Coquimbo: Hepatitis B prevalence is higher in men

Viral hepatitis affects millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic disease and even leading to approximately 1.4 million deaths each year.

Still, hepatitis remains a largely forgotten or unknown disease. To this end, the World Health Organization commemorates World Viral Hepatitis Day on July 28 every year, taking this opportunity to call for a fight against the disease.

Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that causes a lifelong infection in a person and can be spread through blood and, to a lesser extent, saliva, semen and other bodily fluids of an infected person; it can also be transmitted during pregnancy, childbirth Even postpartum transmission from mother to child.

In Chile, the virus is most commonly transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids through sexual contact and through needle sticks from intravenous drug users.

In the case of hepatitis C, which is caused by a virus that inflames the liver, it’s usually asymptomatic but only manifests in advanced stages.

In the Coquimbo region, with regard to hepatitis B, “men were more likely than women to develop the disease between 2016 and 2020, far more than women. Although men had the highest incidence in 2016 and 2018, men had the highest incidence The best years were 2016 and 2018. “The difference for women is in 2020, a year in which men are more than eight times more likely than women,” says Roxana Viera Villalón, reference in “Seremi de Salud”.

What are the risk factors for hepatitis?

Long-term heavy drinking can damage the liver and increase the likelihood of developing hepatitis B and C. In addition, intravenous drug use increases the likelihood of infection.

Other risk factors include unprotected sex, as this is how infections with hepatitis B and C are transmitted.

How to prevent it?

For prevention, proper condom use is required, a single-use sealant is always required for tattoos or piercings, and hepatitis B vaccination is required.

In conclusion, Dr Paola Salas, Regional Health Services Center of Coquimbo, noted that “Chile is committed to a process of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030 through intersectoral work between health centers, health services, health, treatment teams. , PAHO/WHO, civil society, NGOs, gendarmerie and other actors”. He holds power.

world hepatitis day

July 28 is designated as World Hepatitis Day to commemorate the discoverer of the hepatitis B virus and Nobel laureate Professor Baruch Samuel Bloomberg, who was born on this day.

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