Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)

Posted by Zotta Rendevouz

Did you know that there is a virus that is 100 times more infectious than human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)? The virus not only infects the body and causes inflammation of the liver, however, can cause massive death of liver cells and develop in the liver scarring (cirrhosis), cancer and chronic infection.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the greatest threats to global health. It is estimated that 2 billion people around the world have received HBV and 350 million people have chronic (long term) hepatitis B infection In addition, about 500,000 to 700,000 people die from hepatitis B each year.

The prevalence of hepatitis B varies geographically, and is classified as low, medium, high prevalence.

Indonesia, along with other South-East Asia, China and some African countries have been divided into zones. Indonesia has 12 million people are infected with HBV, the third largest in the world after China and India.

HBV, discovered by Dr. Baruch Blumberg in 1965, is a DNA virus and a member of the family of hepadnaviruses.

There are eight known genotypes of hepatitis B (genotype AH), and in addition it is reported a putative new genotype (genotype I) was found recently in Asia. Each of the genotypes have a distinct geographical distribution and have different responses to treatment.

The virus is transmitted by exposure to infected blood or body fluids (such as vaginal fluids, semen). The possible routes of transmission have been contaminated blood transfusion, sexual contact, sharing contaminated razors or toothbrushes, needles infected by injecting drugs, ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture, contaminated instruments, manicure or pedicure In some procedures, and vertical transmission from mother to child during childbirth.

Unfortunately, up to 90 percent of infected infants develop chronic infection with HBV, therefore a higher risk of liver cancer in adulthood. About 25 percent of adults chronically infected during childhood later die from complications of chronic hepatitis B and liver cancer or cirrhosis.

However, about 5-10 percent of infections acquired in adulthood becomes a chronic infection. HBV is not spread by shaking hands, coughing, sneezing, hugging, using the same toilets, food or water.

The symptoms of hepatitis B infection vary - no sign of fatigue, joint pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, clay-colored stools.

Complications raging hepatitis (acute massive death of liver cells), liver cirrhosis, which can occur with asides (fluid in the abdominal cavity), leg edema, splenomegaly, bleeding disorders, gynecomastia ( enlarged male breasts), impaired consciousness and liver cancer. Patients with HBV is also susceptible to hepatitis D.

This dual infection may lead to rage hepatitis. There is progress in drugs for the treatment of chronic HBV infection, including the most potent antiviral agents and interferon.

However, the complete eradication of HBV is not yet possible. Liver transplantation is considered when liver damage is severe.

It seems that HBV virus is a catastrophic and unprecedented. But there is a very simple thing that can prevent and break the spread of HBV.

HBV infection can be effectively prevented through vaccination. Prof. Blumberg invented the vaccine in 1969. It is the first vaccine in the world of prevention of human cancer.

There was a significant increase in the number of countries to include hepatitis B vaccine in national immunization programs for children from 31 countries in 1992 to 177 in 2009.

Vaccination against hepatitis B is the mainstay of prevention of hepatitis B and has been shown to reduce the rate of chronic infection in many countries, from 8 to 15 percent to less than 1 percent among vaccinated children. Moreover, Taiwan, the vaccination program has reduced the incidence of liver cancer in children.

In Indonesia, vaccination against hepatitis B for newborns was introduced in 1987 and is part of the routine since 1997.

WHO recommends vaccination against hepatitis B for all infants, from birth followed by two subsequent immunizations each with a minimum interval of 1 and 2 months respectively.

Children and adolescents under 18 who have not previously been vaccinated should be vaccinated. Adults in groups at high risk, such as a spouse HBV infection, requiring frequent blood transfusions, hemodialysis patients, users of needle drugs, occupational risk of HBV infection (health workers) and travelers international areas with high rates of HBV infection should also receive the vaccine.

The vaccine is safe and effective, but the level of antibodies induced by vaccination may decrease over time. Therefore, the booster vaccination is required when the antibody level decreases.

In addition to vaccination, there are some things to keep us safe. These consist of using disposable needles and sterilized, do not share razors or toothbrushes with others, wearing gloves when touching blood or other infected body fluids, knowing your spouse's state of HBV infection, and practice safe sex.

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. One of the objectives of this event is to raise awareness, prevention, detection and control of viral hepatitis, particularly HBV and hepatitis C virus (HCV), both types of hepatitis most often associated with cirrhosis and complications of cancer.

Although many countries have begun a vaccination against hepatitis B as part of national immunization programs, to help reduce the infestation, the number of people infected with HBV is still high.

Since there is no vaccine for hepatitis C and hepatitis B to prevent hepatitis D infection indirectly, appropriate vaccination Hepatitis B is very important, especially for those classified as high-risk groups.

From an economic perspective, the cost for the purchase of medicines by mouth with HBV is 10 times greater than the purchase of a vaccine against hepatitis B, it will increase several times when the type of drug injectors is necessary for treatment.

There are also considerable costs of purchases for the treatment of complications, hospital costs and costs of laboratory tests.

Last but not least, the disease in human productivity, not only individually but also throughout the world. After participating in the global war against HBV.

He knows of HBV, the means of transmission, measures to protect themselves and be sure to have received the hepatitis B vaccine enough.