Hepatitis B is an organ disease that infects the liver. If not treated during its early stages, it can lead to liver failure and worse, cancer.
How does it spread?
Just like HIV/AIDS, the ways in which a person contracts Hepatitis B are almost similar, i.e. if a person comes in contact with the body fluids, blood or open sores with a person already suffering from the disease. There are also chances of an expecting mother passing it on to the newly born baby during the process of giving birth.
The symptoms usually surface between a period of 1 to 6 months. However, sometimes they may take longer to show up and the best way to find out if you have it is by having a medical checkup.
• Paling of the skin especially the eyes.
• Brownish or yellowish urine.
• Light-colored feaces
• Persistent fatigue that goes on for weeks or months
• Loss of appetite
• Stomach pain
Is it treatable?
The bad news is that the disease is not curable but the good news is that it’s treatable. It can completely disappear within a period of few weeks. And once your body gets rid of it, it’s a lifetime achievement as you can’t get it again. As part of the healing process, you may be advised by the doctor to stop drinking alcohol.
However this needs to be done in a period of approximately 2 weeks after contracting the disease. If you spend close to six months with the diseases the chances of getting rid of it are very slim if available.
When it comes to health, prevention is always better than cure. We take a look at some of the control measures a person can take to avoid contracting the disease.
• Getting vaccinated
• Using condoms when having sex with a person whose health status you’re not sure of.
• Wearing protection gears like gloves while cleaning patients
• Covering all cuts or wounds.
• Don’t share sharp objects that can either cut or pierce the body like safety pins, razor blades, among others.