World Hepatitis Day; 28th July 2020. How long will it take to find a Cure?

World Hepatitis Day; 28th July 2020
July 28, 2020
Author : Bill Williams

The havoc created by the Hepatitis Virus; especially the B Strain (HBV), on the human lives and health care is huge in the African and Western Pacific Regions where more than 6% of adults are infected with the virus. One of the most important campaigns of the World Health Organization (WHO) is World Hepatitis Day; marked each year on 28th July. WHO has declared that the theme for this year is going to be  “Hepatitis Free Future”  furthering the novel endeavour of eradicating the disease which is the second deadliest infectious disease after Tuberculosis and is rampantly killing people each day amid the Pandemic owing to lack of proper medical attention available for the HBV infected. 

Hepatitis Free Future

Why WHO is so worried about Hepatitis B infections during the COVID Pandemic?

Nearly 1.3 million people die annually being infected from Hepatitis B. (WHO 2019 report). Its wide-spread prevalence, underfunded research and ignorance about the disease is a matter of extreme woe for health agencies around the world. The underlining emergency of the issue lies in the fact that although there is a vaccine to protect us against the Hepatitis Virus, there is no cure if infected with HBV (Hepatitis B Virus). And hold your breath; there are close to 300 million active cases of the disease who will need life-long medical care to fight the liver-related maladies caused by hepatitis and though most people recover even the infected ones with aggravated symptoms: the scariest aspect is that 1 in 20 adults who get infected with HBV become carriers of this highly communicable disease and till date, we don’t have any cure that can permanently make our cells get rid of HBV infection. 

Corona outbreak has had a considerable toll on health care facilities all over the world leading to visible negligence towards people suffering from other chronic and infectious illnesses. Many Hepatitis B patients are unable to get proper and timely treatment which is leading to a rising number of Liver Cancer and deaths due to related ailments such as cirrhosis. 

Why World Hepatitis Day awareness campaign is important? 

With over 300 million active cases of acute Hepatitis B caused by the B strain of the virus, the WHO has highlighted this as a grave concern due to the easy communicability of the disease. Hepatitis B can spread during blood transmission and transfusion if an infected person is involved and in the third world endemic nations where needles and syringe use during blood exchange are not severely monitored it has kept the numbers growing despite the availability of the vaccine. Another common spread has been observed through sexual intercourse with somebody infected with HBV. 

With no cure in sight and research for a plausible cure lacking financial force has kept WHO on toes to ensure that the maximum part of the population receives the vaccine in the disease-prone countries. 

world hepatitis day

Let’s take a closer look at the virus. Which Hepatitis Virus Strain is not curable?

Hepatitis Virus has five known strains: A, B, C, D and E. Out of all the strains of Hepatitis, it is B & C strain that are fatal and cause maximum deaths. There is a vaccine available for all strains but for the B strain, there is no cure found till now. Individuals suffering from Hepatitis B need prolonged and regular medical care and there is no clinical diagnosis available for them to completely eradicate HBV from their cells. 

Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) – Important Facts

  • The virus primarily targets the Liver and its functions and often leads to chronic disease.

  • The most common transmission of HBV is from a pregnant mother to child during birth. The infection can also spread through blood and body fluids such as semen and saliva.

  • The Virus can survive for up to a week outside of a human body and still be infectious.

  • The average incubation period of HBV is 75 days although cases, where virus was fully developed in 30 days inside a human body, are known.  

  • With clinical methodology, it is impossible to diagnose that whether one has been infected with HBV or some other strain thus a final Laboratory claim and diagnosis is required to affirm Hepatitis B.

  •  As per WHO findings, more than 250 million people in the world were suffering from acute Hepatitis B. WHO classified these infected as Hepatitis B SAP ( Surface Antigen Positive)

  • Only 42% of the newborn kids in the world have access to Hepatitis B Vaccine.

Is there a plan to cure Hepatitis B?

A global collaboration of the brightest minds in the fiels of Virology and Communicable Disease Study are working in tandem to create strategies that an result in abolishing the Hepatitis B disease. A major consensus and will to achieve this utopian scenario was initiated at the Annual Liver Congress 2019 at Vienna, Austria.

A prominent voice at the convention was of Mr. Peter Revill who is an MD and a distinguished fellow with  Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity, Australia. He exclaimed that Hepatitis B is not restricted to one particular country and has no borders. He further explained that even after the vaccine being developed, nearly 300 million people infected during the pre-vaccine era are aiding in spreading the disease. He pointed out that Hepatitis B is spreading from mother to child, in even far off non-tropical countries like China which were earlier considered as no infection zones and in the rest of the world adult transmission through blood transfusion and sexual intercourse is leading to the spread of this highly deadly disease.

The entire coalition of International Liver Congress (ILC) came to the consensus about a two-pronged global strategy to contain the virus that includes direct assault on the virus through mass vaccination drives and to effectively educate the living hosts of the virus so a further spread to non immune population can be seized.

The group also emphasized on increasing public education forums so the stigma around the disease can be neutralized and normalized in terms of acceptance in the patient and his relatives and also amongst the medical professionals who are involved in the care of an infected person.

How should you mark World Hepatitis Day 2020?

On this World Hepatitis Day, on behalf of the assignment help community at My Assignment Services, I urge you to spread the message about the communicability of Hepatitis B and educate everyone you know to get an easily available vaccine which can make you almost permanently immune towards HVB.

We also need to raise our voice on digital platforms as they are much more viral and transcend borders to create an awareness dialogue that inspires people to treat infected personnel with dignity and counter-attack the societal reluctance in fighting the disease. A prominent public voice will also lead to decision-makers allocating more funds towards finding a permanent medicinal cure for Hepatitis B. Please visit who.int for sharable graphic education material on the disease and don’t forget to express your views in the comments section.

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About the Author

Bill Williams

Bill is an academic expert in the fields of law, nursing, business, and management. His diligence in editing and writing assignments solutions has been applauded by students from around the globe; who swear by his eclectic writing style and subject matter expertise in Law and Nursing Studies. He is full time associated with My Assignment Services as a Senior Academic Writer and loves binge-watching on anything sci-fi.

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