NEWS AND EVENTS

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27/Jul/2019

WHAT IS HEPATITIS?

Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver commonly caused by a viral infection. Other possible causes include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis secondary to medication, drugs, toxins, and alcohol. Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease that occurs when your body makes antibodies against your liver tissue.

TYPES OF VIRAL HEPATITIS

  1. Hepatitis A-caused by hepatitis A virus(HAV) through consuming food or water contaminated by feces from a person infected with hepatitis A.
  2. Hepatitis ­B –it’s transmitted through contact with infectious blood, vaginal secretions or semen containing the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Injection drug use, having sex with an infected partner or sharing razors with an infected person increase your risk of getting hepatitis B.
  3. Hepatitis C- Caused by hepatitis C virus. It’s transmitted through direct contact with infected body fluids through injection drug use or sexual contact.
  4. Hepatitis D- is a serious liver disease caused by Hepatitis D virus (HDV). it’s contracted through direct contact with infected blood. HEP D is a rare form of hepatitis that only occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B
  5. Hepatitis E- is a waterborne disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). Mainly found in areas with poor sanitation. Transmitted through ingestion of contaminated water with fecal matter from an infected person.

Common signs and symptoms of hepatitis

Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis appear quickly. They include fatigue, flu-like symptoms, dark urine, pale stool, and abdominal pain or discomfort especially on the upper right side beneath lower ribs, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, yellow skin and eyes which may be signs of jaundice.

Chronic hepatitis develops slowly, so these signs and symptoms may be too subtle to notice.

How is it diagnosed?

  • History and physical exam-the doctor will ask you some questions to determine any risk factors you may have for infectious or noninfectious hepatitis. During a physical examination, your doctor may press down gently on your abdomen to see if there’s pain or tenderness. Your doctor may also feel to see if your liver is enlarged. If your skin or eyes are yellow, your doctor will note this during the exam.
  • Liver function test-blood sample is obtained to determine how efficiently your liver is working. Abnormal results will indicate there is a problem
  • Other blood tests- If your liver function tests are abnormal, your doctor will likely order other blood tests to detect the source of the problem. These tests can check for the viruses that cause hepatitis.
  • Ultrasound-This test allows your doctor to take a close at your liver and nearby organs to detect anomalies.
  • Liver biopsy-it’s an invasive procedure that involves taking a small sample of liver tissue through your skin using a needle using an ultrasound guide in which the sample will be used to detect any anomalies in your liver.

How is hepatitis treated?

Treatment options are determined by the type of hepatitis and whether the infection is acute or chronic.

Hepatitis A

Bed rest may be recommended if symptoms cause a great deal of discomfort. If you experience vomiting or diarrhea, follow your doctor’s orders for hydration and nutrition.

Hepatitis B

Acute hepatitis B doesn’t require specific treatment. Chronic hepatitis is treated with antiviral medications for several months or years.

Hepatitis C

Antiviral medications are used to treat both acute and chronic forms of hepatitis C.

People who develop cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver disease as a result of chronic hepatitis C may be candidates for a liver transplant.

Hepatitis D

No antiviral medications exist for the treatment of Hep D at this time.

Hepatitis E

adequate rest, drink plenty of fluids, get enough nutrients, and avoid alcohol. However, pregnant women who develop this infection require close monitoring and care.

How can it be prevented?

  1. Hygiene

Practicing good hygiene is one key way to avoid contracting hepatitis A and E.

Hepatitis B, C, and D contracted through contaminated blood can be prevented by Not sharing drug needles, not sharing razors, not using someone else’s toothbrush, not touching spilled blood.

Practicing safe sex by using condoms can help decrease the risk of infection by hepatitis B and c.

   2. Vaccines

The use of vaccines is an important key to preventing hepatitis. Vaccinations are available to prevent the development of hepatitis A and B. The CDCTrusted Source recommends hepatitis B vaccinations for all newborns. The vaccine is also recommended for all healthcare and medical personnel.

Hepatitis D can be prevented by getting the vaccination for Hep B, as infection with Hep B is necessary for hepatitis D to develop

The hepatitis A vaccine is available to prevent this infection. Most children begin vaccination between the ages of 12 and 18 months. It’s a series of two vaccines

What are the possible complications?

People with chronic hepatitis B or C are at risk of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer

  • Liver failure can occur when the liver stops functioning completely. Complications of liver failure include bleeding disorders, kidney failure, and a buildup of fluid in your abdomen known as ascites.

16/May/2019

WHAT IS CHOLERA? 

  • It is an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and even death if untreated even to previously healthy people.

WHAT ARE ITS CAUSES?

  • It is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.
  • The bacteria are usually found in food or water contaminated by feces from a person with the infection.

HOW IS IT TRANSMITTED?

  • When a person consumes the contaminated food or water, the bacteria release a toxin in the intestines that produces severe diarrhea.
  • Therefore, it is highly unlikely that you will catch cholera just from casual contact with an infected person.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Symptoms of cholera can begin as soon as a few hours or as long as five days after infection and are as follows;
  1. severe watery diarrhea.
  2. Nausea and vomiting.
  3. Dehydration which may lead to a rapid loss of minerals in your blood (electrolytes) that maintain the balance of fluids in your body. This is called an electrolyte imbalance.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION? 

  1. Rapid heart rate
  2. Loss of skin elasticity (the ability to return to original position quickly if pinched)
  3. Dry mucous membranes, including the inside of the mouth, throat, nose, and eyelids
  4. Low blood pressure
  5. Thirst
  6. Muscle cramps

If left untreated, dehydration can lead to shock and death in a matter of hours

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

  • Although the symptoms are unmistakable, it is advisable to perform a cholera Antigen test that is later confirmed by a stool culture test

HOW CAN IT BE PREVENTED?

  • Yes, through vaccination that lasts for up to five years and observance of clean hygienic procedures.

 

HOW IS IT TREATED?

  • Cholera is highly treatable, but because dehydration can happen quickly, it’s important to get cholera treatment right away.
  • Hydration is the mainstay of treatment for cholera. Depending on how severe the diarrhea is, treatment will consist of oral or intravenous solutions to replace lost fluids.
  • Antibiotics, which kill the bacteria, are not part of emergency treatment for mild cases. But they can reduce the duration of diarrhea by half and also reduce the excretion of the bacteria, thus helping to prevent the spread of the disease.

 

Author:

Sal Mukinda, Lab Superintendent, IMH

References:

  1. The incubation period of cholera: a systematic review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23201968 Azman AS, Rudolph KE, Cummings DA, Lessler J. J Infect. 2013;66(5):432-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2012.11.013. PubMed PMID: 23201968; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3677557.
  2. Cholera Annual Report 2017 http://www.who.int/wer/2018/wer9338/en/
    Weekly Epidemiological Record 21 September 2018, Vol 93, 38 (pp 489-500).
  3. Debasish S, LaRocque RC. Cholera and Other Vibrios. In: McGill, A; Ryan, E; Hill, D; Solomon, T, eds. Hunter’s Tropical Medicine and Emerging Infectious Diseases. 9thed. New York: Saunders Elsevier; 2013: 448-453.
  4. David A Sack, Mohammed Ali. Protection from killed oral cholera vaccine continues for 4 years. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(18)30311-5/fulltext

 


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