Monday, July 11th, 2011

Get Vaccinated Against Hepatitis

vaccines Hepatitis can cause your liver to become inflamed, swollen, and tender. It is one of the ten most important killers in the world. There are 350 million Hepatitis B (Hep-B) positive people worldwide and about one million die each year from Hep-B infections, making it the ninth leading global cause of death. Hepatitis is a disease that can be caused by a variety of different viruses such as ‘Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E’. It is characterised by jaundice, enlarged liver, fever, fatigue and abnormal liver function tests.

Studies indicate that the numbers of patients dying of Hep-B each year are 10 times more than that of AIDS. It is estimated that nearly 40 million Indians are suffering from Hep-B. And since knowledge is the key to prevention, it is important to spread knowledge to prevent more people from falling prey to it.

 

 

Symptoms
• Yellowing of the skin and eyes, known as jaundice
• Fever
• Nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite
• Fatigue
• Abdominal pain (on the upper right side)
• Light-coloured bowel movements
• Dark-colored urine.

 

Managing hepatitis
Currently, vaccination is available only to protect against Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. These forms of hepatitis are caused by viral infections that can be prevented with safe and affordable vaccines. They are available for anyone interested, but are strongly recommended for people at high risk for exposure. like seasoned travellers and those who share needles and indulge in unsage sex.

Hepatitis B vaccine
Universal vaccination against Hepatitis B is strongly recommended. Three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine are recommended for 0, 1, 6 months. The doses can be administered on children from their birth to below 10 years of age. This paediatric dose is given as .5ml/dose.  Another dosage is for people above 10years of age and it is given 1ml/dose. The cost for Hepatitis B vaccine is only Rs.100/- to Rs. 300/- per dose. Hepatitis B infection is associated with Cirrhosis of liver and liver cancer. Adults at risk of having Hepatitis B due to their profession, behaviour and medical conditions are mostly recommended for vaccines.

Side effects
Common side effects include soreness, swelling and redness at the injection site. The vaccine may not be recommended for those with documented yeast allergies or a history of an adverse reaction to the vaccine.

Hepatitis A vaccine

If you are traveling to an exotic place but are not sure of the hygiene standards of the place, get vaccinated against Hepatitis A. Two doses of Hepatitis A, 0 and 6 months apart are recommended. The junior vaccine is for children from 15 months till 18 years of age and it is given as 720units/dose. The 1440 units/dose is given to people above 18 years old. The cost for Hepatitis A vaccine is Rs.1000/- to Rs.1500/- per dose.
The vaccine is provided by an injection into the muscle of the upper arm for adults and older children and in the thigh muscle of toddlers.

Watch out
You may experience a little soreness, which happens to one out of two adults and one out of five children. Less common side effects include headache, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, or tiredness. When these problems happen, they usually start 3-5 days after vaccination and usually last for one or two days.
——Dr. Shekhar Vashist, Consultant, Paediatrics, Moolchand Medcity

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