Hepatitis B is a communicable disease that affects the liver. It is among the five known hepatitis viruses, the others being A, C, D and E. The virus responsible for this disease is known as the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It can lead to both acute and chronic infections in the liver. Most patients do not exhibit any special signs or symptoms during the early stages of the infection. The infection has become preventable by vaccination from the year 1982 and the World Health Organization recommends that all human beings should be vaccinated as early as possible.
Signs and Symptoms
At the height of the infection, the signs, that are visible, are acute viral fever, general ill-health, loss of appetite, nausea, body aches, vomiting and dark urine. It then leads to the progression towards jaundice. It has been seen that itchy skin is generally associated with all five types of hepatitis. The illness stays for a few weeks, and then, it generally improves for most of the affected patients. For a few unfortunate people with a severe liver infection, it may cause death. For a very lucky few, the symptoms may be so mild that they can go unnoticed before one is completely cured.
There are a series of tests called assays, which are employed in the diagnosis of Hepatitis B. They mostly involve serum or blood tests that detect the viral antigens i.e. the proteins produced by the virus or antibodies (produced by the host). The interpretation of these assays is a very complex procedure.
Other procedures like the PCR tests have also been developed to detect and calculate the amount of HBV DNA, which is also called the viral load. These are tested in clinical specimens. These tests are conducted to test a host’s infection status and to monitor treatment.
The most basic precaution towards this disease is vaccination. Most of these vaccines are administered over three doses over a course of a month. The vaccine is most effective in children and almost 95% of those vaccinated have produced protective levels of antibodies. This amount drops to 90% at the age of 40 years and above and around 75% above the age of 60 years.
All persons, who are exposed to body fluids such as blood, should be provided vaccination at the earliest. All those, who have a high risk of infection, should be tested as there is an effective level of treatment for them.
The hepatitis B virus is either self-limiting (i.e. acute) or long-standing (chronic). For the first type, the host bodies, usually, clear the vaccine within weeks to a month. Children are more susceptible and less likely to recover fully. An adult should recover 95% of the times, a young child 70% of the times. If the infection is seen in a newborn baby from the mother, then the risk is at the most.
Homeopathic Treatment of Hepatitis B
Homeopathic medicines have proven to better control the process of cirrhosis and keep it under wraps. It also aids in delaying the complications such as cirrhosis and liver cancer as much as possible. All these are done without any kind of side effect whatsoever.
World Hepatitis Day is observed on 28th July to raise global awareness to Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. This is done by encouraging prevention, diagnosis and timely and proper treatment. United Nations started to endorse the movement from 2010.