You May Have Hepatitis and Not Knowing It

you may have hepatitis and not realize it
you may have hepatitis and not realize it

According to the determinations of the World Health Organization, 325 million people in the world are infected with hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and 1.4 million people die annually due to causes such as cirrhosis and liver cancer due to viral hepatitis. Saying that it is very important to have information about hepatitis B and C, Liv Hospital Gastroenterology Specialist Prof. Dr. Binnur Şimşek talked about individual protection methods on July 28, World Hepatitis Day.

Aim; inform and draw attention to precautions

Since 2010, the birthday of Nobel Prize-winning US doctor BS Blumberg, who first identified the hepatitis B virus, is celebrated as World Hepatitis Day to draw attention to and raise awareness about viral hepatitis, a serious public health problem. The main theme of World Hepatitis Day is to inform the public about hepatitis disease in the national and international arena, to raise awareness, to draw attention to preventive measures and to remove viral hepatitis from the list of diseases that threaten humanity in the future by informing about treatment methods; “Destroy hepatitis!” All countries of the world are making an effort to achieve this goal.

80-90% of patients with hepatitis are unaware

It is estimated that approximately 2 billion people, one out of every 3 people, are infected with HBV, and more than 185 million people are infected with HCV. In our country, approximately 4-5 percent of the population has chronic hepatitis B and 0.5-1 percent of the population is chronic hepatitis C. There are approximately 2,5-3 million hepatitis B and 500 thousand hepatitis C patients. 80-90 percent of patients with hepatitis B and hepatitis C are unaware of their condition. This can cause people to encounter fatal liver disease at some point in their lives, and in some cases infect others unknowingly.

Since virus-related liver diseases such as hepatitis B and C are common in Turkey, it is necessary to act with the principle of “Detect and treat hepatitis”. In line with this purpose, it is also very important to inform the public about the prevention of hepatitis and to raise their awareness.

Our main goals in this regard can be briefly summarized as follows:

  • Effective vaccination
  • Prevention of transmission from mothers who are carriers of hepatitis B to their babies
  • Safe blood transfusion
  • Safe injections
  • Prevention of co-injector sharing in intravenous drug users
  • Identification of patients with hepatitis B and C and their access to antiviral treatments
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