Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease that affects the liver. The World Health Organization (WHO) intends to eliminate this public health problem by 2030. An estimated 325 million people worldwide are living with hepatitis B and/or C.
They are not the only types.The five main strains of hepatitis virus are the following types A, B, C, D and Ealthough the type F and G. In Galicia, the situation is similar to the rest of the state.
“When we talk about acute hepatitis, the two most common are hepatitis A and especially hepatitis E, which is unknown to many people, but it is the most common cause of acute viral hepatitis today. Both One peculiarity is that they do not become chronic (although hepatitis E can become chronic in immunosuppressed people). Instead, the two main causes of chronic hepatitis are caused by viruses B and C”, Digestive Francisco Suárez López, specialist and head of the Hepatology Unit at CHUAC, explains.
They both cause liver disease, but they differ in important ways.inside transfer method Depending on the type, can be transmitted via the fecal-oral route, sexually, percutaneously, perinatally, horizontally, or parenterally gravity disease and in prevention method: Vaccination, hygiene and precautions against other people’s fluids.
The World Health Organization estimates that 78% of primary liver cancer cases and 57% of cirrhosis cases are caused by viral hepatitis infection, especially hepatitis B or C virus infection.
Hepatitis C: Testing and Treatment
Hepatitis C is an infection that progresses asymptomatically to an advanced stage. Jesús Fargas, president of the Association of Patients with Liver Diseases of the Autonomous Region of Madrid (AHEMAD), discovered “accidentally” that he had hepatitis C. “A clinical analysis reminded me. They performed routine analyzes in the company itself, and in one of the analyzes they observed changes in transaminases, values that indicated liver damage. Since then, they have started specific tests for hepatitis.” Law Garth admits.
A few years ago, diagnosis was a complicated process for the patient as he required multiple consultations and tests to verify active infection. This is not the case today: “With a single test, we can end the diagnostic process and alert the doctor of the need to refer the patient to the hospital service responsible for his care”, explains the doctor.
In the hepatitis C elimination strategy, Galicia is a pioneer in establishing screening It is done in people aged 40 to 69 to detect the virus.
Last Friday, on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day, the Minister of Health, Julio García Comesaña, expressed sympathy for the results of the first five months of screening: 38 positive cases were detected early after more than 30,000 analyses, which may have started with treatment Prove that the effective rate is greater than 95%.
Impact on society and those affected by it
The National Federation of Transplant and Liver Patients (FNETH) and Apoyo Positivo have also launched an awareness campaign on the disease on World Hepatitis Day called “Do you put your health in your suitcase?” to dispel some myths and educate citizens healthy.
“Perhaps people know more about hepatitis B because it’s included in childhood vaccination schedules, or because of efforts to eradicate it in recent years. But almost total ignorance “On other viral hepatitis, such as hepatitis D, and its consequences and their impact on health,” said FNETH President Eva Pérez Bech.
Diagnosis affects different aspects of a patient’s life.Especially in this case, at the social level, the disease becomes highly stigmatize Due to association with drug or alcohol use and due to ignorance of the mode of transmission.
Jorge Garrido, CEO of Apoyo Positivo, explained: “Most people are unaware that hepatitis can be spread through sex or other actions associated with the transmission of fluids, such as needle sticks.”
Dr Suarez has had an impact here too: “I remember a patient who was cured of hepatitis C telling me that she could finally kiss her grandson without fear, because she knew the virus would not be transmitted that way ’” he pointed out.
In 2021, the number of deaths from viral hepatitis in Spain will be 435, which is more than 40 fewer than the previous year. This confirms the trend observed in recent years.