Hepatitis virus may manifest 10 or 20 years later with serious sequelae – El Independente Newspaper

Experts call for vigilance on World Hepatitis Day

According to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, more than 80% of hepatitis treated in the service is hepatitis A.

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus and can be fatal if not treated properly. On World Hepatitis Day, which is commemorated every year on July 28, the Costa Rican Ministry of Health calls for vigilance, especially because in some cases the virus can manifest 10 or 20 years later, with serious consequences such as liver cancer.

Gastroenterologist and hepatologist Dr. Francisco Hevia, representative of the Costa Rican Chamber of Health and Nutritional Care explained this, assuring that professionals in the health system and the entire health ecosystem must constantly strive to define and map disease types.People who have or have had hepatitis to identify their future doctor to see if more special care is needed and to take appropriate care to avoid fatal consequences

Some symptomatic liver diseases do not always cause noticeable signs and symptoms. Sometimes the disease doesn't show symptoms until years after infection, but by then the liver can be severely damaged. However, some symptoms may include: • yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) • abdominal pain and swelling • swelling of the legs and ankles • itchy skin • dark urine • pale or clay-colored stools • chronic fatigue • nausea or vomiting • appetite Sluggish • Bruises easily Source: Ministry of Health, Costa Rica.

According to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund, over 80% of the hepatitis treated in the service is hepatitis A, accounting for 77% of the total cases, and it is more common among children under 15 years of age.

According to PAHO/WHO data, there are about 10,000 new cases of hepatitis B virus infection and 67,000 new cases of hepatitis C virus infection in the Americas each year, of which only 18% and 22% are diagnosed respectively. Far fewer still receive treatment.

In this sense, Dr Hevia stressed that health systems must seek out asymptomatic HCV cases to fulfill the commitments made by the World Health Organization after calling on countries to start eradicating HCV cases by 2030.

“The program in Costa Rica was stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic, but now it’s time to resume the program, and the experts are already planning to go out and find those who may have a large population at the moment, such as gay people, with tattoos or piercings on different parts of the body and rings, and those who maintain an active and promiscuous sex life,” explained the representative of the Costa Rican Chamber of Health.

For hepatitis B, C, and D, transmission is through direct contact with contaminated body fluids (needlestick or sexual contact).

For Genesys CR microbiologist Adrián Fernández, who also represents the Costa Rican Ministry of Health, it was important to call on the population and authorities to raise awareness of the problem, push for more educational campaigns, and mobilize resources in areas of greater impact . outbreak situation.

“Furthermore, there is a need for science-based policy and data collection for timely action to positively impact increased health equity, enhanced transmission prevention programmes, expanded health services, detection, assistance and early treatment to reduce the incidence of disease. “Risks and complications arising from this disease,” Fernandez noted.

Early diagnosis is crucial, microbiologists stress, because the virus also causes liver fibrosis, meaning the liver becomes scarred from virus-produced inflammation and can be a precursor to the development of cirrhosis. The importance of maintaining regular inspections.

Call for stronger health measures

Health authorities recently declared an outbreak of hepatitis A; in February of this year, there was another outbreak of the same virus.

Faced with this situation, Dr. Melissa Delgado, GP at Clínica Lafemedica and representative of the Costa Rican Chamber of Health, recalls the importance of not abandoning the basic practice of handwashing, and reminds people that the hepatitis virus is transmitted through Respiratory transmission. The fecal-oral mechanism is thus able to stop the infection with this simple action.

Dr Delgado confirmed that, within the framework of World Hepatitis Day, greater efforts must be made to strengthen the diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C in order to achieve the goal of eliminating these viruses, especially since the system relies on appropriate treat.

“As a viral disease with highly controllable transmission routes, annual health checks, frequent hand washing, timely vaccination and condom use are extremely important, so that we can avoid the spread of this silent enemy.” Representative of the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica.

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