World Hepatitis Day

Practo’s telemedicine platform witnessed a 165% increase in Gastroenterology last year and one of the most widely discussed topics was hepatitis. Considered a serious public health problem in India, viral hepatitis places a huge social and economic burden on the affected individual, family as well as the health system. It becomes important to detect it early on and prevent it from progressing into a minacious condition. 

According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, in India, 40 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B; and six to twelve million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C. As per records, there are approximately 50 million people in India living with Hepatitis. Doctors say that inflammation of the liver or Hepatitis as it is widely known, can be fatal depending on its type. Viral hepatitis is a widespread infectious disease normally caused by the hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to liver fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or even liver cancer.

“Hepatitis is the liver’s inflammation, caused by virus, alcohol, excess immunity (autoimmune), copper or iron excess in the body. While most people recover from jaundice when infected with viruses A and E, viruses B and C cause permanent liver damage leading to liver failure and even cancer. Some of the symptoms to look for include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, body aches, mild upper abdomen discomfort above navel and yellowness in eyes, and urine. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to liver fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or even liver cancer. It becomes essential to detect it early on and prevent it from progressing into a minacious condition. People with any of these symptoms must immediately consult a Gastroenterologist through telemedicine platforms like Practo as a first level check then go for in-person checkup if the doctor recommends,” said Dr. Ravindra B S, MD, DM, Director Gastroenterology, Meenakshi institute of Gastroenterology, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore who also consults on Practo. “It is essential to understand the seriousness of hepatitis and take necessary precautions and treatments to stop it from spreading further,” he added.