An acute inflammation of the liver, viral hepatitis can invade our bodies through several channels. If not treated on time, it can lead to chronic infection and cirrhosis and also liver cancer, in severe cases of hepatitis B and C.
Hepatitis B and C together cause approximately 80 percent of all liver cancer deaths and kill close to 1.4 million people every year. However, incorporating certain habits in your daily routine can help you keep away from this viral infection.
July 28 is World Hepatitis Day and the World Health Organization(WHO) has set this year’s theme as prevention of viral hepatitis. Unlike many other infections, hepatitis can be transmitted from surfaces. The hepatitis C virus alone can survive outside the body at room temperature, on environmental surfaces for at least 16 hours.
Keeping that in mind, here are a few easy tips you can follow to reduce your risk of viral hepatitis.
1. Spread Of Infection: The most important thing to know, which can protect you and your family from hepatitis infection, is to understand the spread of the infection. While hepatitis A spreads through contaminated water, hepatitis B and C are spread mainly through infected blood, semen, or other body fluids.
2. Hygiene: Poor sanitation and hygiene can increase your risk of infection. Wash your hands each time you use the toilet. Make sure you clean your vegetable and fruits thoroughly before eating. Keeping your house and working surfaces clean is also of prime importance. Get started today by practicing these five germaphore habits.
3. Vaccines: Harness the power of vaccines to protect yourself from hepatitis. Currently vaccines are available to protect against hepatitis A and B. Here’s everything you want to know about hepatitis vaccines.
4. Sexual Contact: While blood remains the primary route of transmission for certain types of hepatitis, unprotected sexual activity can also increase your chances of infection. Make sure you use condoms to reduce yours and your partner’s risk.
5. Personal Items: WHO mentions that hepatitis can easily spread by sharing spoons, straws, pipes, needles, syringes and even bank notes. Be wary of using personal items of someone who’d been infected. Be very careful while getting a tattoo or a piercing or your nails done. Tools used at the parlor can be a major risk factor of infection if not sterilized well.
6. Alcohol: If you have been diagnosed with hepatitis then abstain from things that can worsen the condition of your liver such as alcohol. Limit your intake of alcohol to prevent inflammation and cirrhosis.