Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, which can be self-limiting or progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis globally.
There are several forms of viral hepatitis
Hebatita A it is more likely the most common form of hepatitis. This is known as the “disease of dirty hands” and is transmitted through the faecal-oral mechanism from a person in poor hygiene conditions. Most patients suffer from acute hepatitis A in adolescence, and it does not become chronic.
Hepatitis B and C they are mainly transmitted through blood preparations, percutaneously, through injections, tattoos, invasive procedures, including dental ones, through unprotected sexual contact and at birth, when the mother is a carrier of the virus. Hepatitis B and C present a significant risk of chronicity and most often go unnoticed in the acute phase. It is essential that we benefit from the hepatitis B vaccine, which is why it is present in all vaccination schemes, from the beginning of life.
Hepatitis D it is caused by an opportunistic virus, which cannot exist outside of infection with the hepatitis B virus. The transmission mechanisms of hepatitis D are similar to those of hepatitis B.
Hepatitis E virus it resembles the hepatitis A virus, being also transmitted through the faecal-oral mechanism, it has a risk of chronicity and occurs more frequently in people who travel to endemic areas.
The main problem is chronic infections (over 6 months) with the hepatitis B and C virus. In the case of chronic viral hepatitis B, at the moment there is no treatment that leads to a complete cure, and this aspect remains a challenge worldwide. Current treatments allow controlling the replication of the virus but do not lead to the elimination of the virus from the liver cells, so the duration of the treatment is increased.
Chronic viral hepatitis C can be treated, for several years, with various combinations of direct antivirals without Interferon. With these treatment regimens, virus eradication rates of almost 100% are obtained after 8-12 weeks, with long-term sustained response. These treatments are also available in our country, and through them it could be possible to get rid of the disease in the long term, as long as all those affected are correctly identified.
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