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Russian version

July 28 - World Hepatitis Day

According to the World Health Organization, hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, caused in most cases by a viral infection. Today, the most studied are five main hepatitis viruses, referred to types A, B, C, D, E.

World Hepatitis Day is meant to draw the world's attention to the fact that awareness of the problem of the spread of viral hepatitis and the recognition of the seriousness of this problem, do not go to any comparison with the level of awareness about HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, despite the fact that the number of patients and carriers, as well as the risk of infection with viral hepatitis is no less.

Since 2008, at the initiative of the International Alliance of Hepatitis (World Hepatitis Alliance) World Hepatitis Day was held on May, 19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) to joint this initiative and in 2011 announced July 28 the World Day of Hepatitis in order to increase the awareness of people about the spread of hepatitis and policy making to combat them.

Hepatitis viruses are specific viruses. On the one hand, they are very resistant to environmental conditions and disinfectants. On the other hand rather insignificant dose of the pathogen is enough for human infection..

Hepatitis A and E are transmitted typically through contaminated water or food. These hepatitides occur in acute form and, accordingly, will be quickly recognized and treated.

To protect your liver from hepatitis A and E you should:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables only after a thorough washing under running water and shower with boiling water.
  • Do not drink water from open sources or plumbing.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water after coming from the street, before eating and after using the toilet.
  • Swim only in designated areas.

Hepatitides B, C and D, so-called parenteral viral hepatitides (PVH) are transmitted through contact with the blood or secretions of an infected person: sexual contact, injecting drug use,  blood contact with the unprotected skin or mucous membranes, the use of contaminated instruments in invasive procedures and etc..

Almost every second case of parenteral hepatitides in the first 5-10 years after infection occurs without obvious clinical implications (in the form of carrier), which complicates timely diagnosis and treatment. It is no coincidence that about 25% of people in the world are infected with the PVH virus later die from liver cancer or cirrhosis of the liver, caused by the chronic infection.

In Belarus every year with various forms of parenteral viral hepatitis are  revealed from 7 to 10 thousand people. Annually about 70% of identified patients and carriers of parenteral hepatitides are infected with hepatitis C, more than 90% of cases occur in the form of a carriage or a chronic infection.

So per 2014 in the Baranovichi region was first identified 55 cases of hepatitis B, and 103 cases - hepatitis C.

In order to reduce the spread of parenteral viral hepatitides during the provision of medical care to the population disposable medical instruments are used at most, modern means of disinfection and sterilization methods of medical products are applied. Are fully met the needs of Health organizations  for disposable syringes for injections in the republic.  Persons without a certain residence are not allowed to the donation. All donors before blood sampling undergo a medical examination to test their blood using modern laboratory tests, quarantine of plasma is introduced - plasma is directed to the Health Organizations for transfusion to patient after 6 months of receiving repeated negative results of laboratory tests of the donor. The healthcare practice introduced technical regulations on the prevention and epidemiological surveillance of viral hepatitis.

So medical workers of  regional polyclinics of epidemic and clinical indications carry out medica  surveillance  after contacts within the outbreak of viral hepatitis laboratory testing,

  • health professionals of health organization held briefing on the procedure for current disinfection measures  at home focus, which are taken by  the patient or the patient's family members; as well as a
  • Personal items use that come in contact with blood or other biological material of the patient: a toothbrush, comb, towel, bast wisp, razors, nail scissors and other items for personal use.
  • According to preventive and epidemic indications inoculations against hepatitis B are done. Immunity begins to be produce within two weeks after the first administration of the vaccine.

For the prevention of hepatitis B vaccine is used. Belarus, the first among the CIS countries (since 1996) has implemented selective vaccination on epidemic indications, since 2000 immunization against hepatitis B is included in the national calendar of preventive vaccinations and conducted since 13 years .    After three necessary vaccinations immunity is produced in 99% cases.

The percentage of coverage of required cohorts to be immunized in Belarus is at the level or higher than WHO standards and is 99%.

Measures for the prevention of hepatitides have almost 10 times reduced the incidence of the country's acute viral hepatitis B . Including immunization that radically affected the epidemic situation among children up to 14 years, the last few years the incidence of acute hepatitis B is registered in this age group in the form of individual cases, mainly among unvaccinated children.

In the laboratories of regional medical institutions is conducted a survey for the presence of hepatitis B antigen and antibodies to hepatitis C in the blood. There is also the so-called PCR method, which  determines the presence of viruses in the blood. This procedure is carried out in specialized laboratories, available also in Baranovichi.

Detection of antigen of hepatitis B indicates that patient has acute or chronic hepatitis B, which is often asymptomatic, but can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Detection antibodies to hepatitis C virus shows occurred earlier hepatitis C or that the patient currently has hepatitis C. Therefore, while the detection of antibodies to hepatitis C virus it is necessary to clarify the diagnosis and treatment strategy, to be examined for the presence of hepatitis C virus in the blood. For this there is a PCR method. A study is carried out in specialized laboratories

Contingents, which have indications for hepatitis B antigen and antibodies to hepatitis C virus examination are:

  • Individuals who use drugs and their analogs,
  • Patients with sexually transmitted infections,
  • Living with patients infected with parenteral hepatitides viruses,
  • Patients who received a blood or its components transfusion, with a history of organ transplantation, and (or) tissues of human biological materials, medical interventions, operations,
  • Children born from infected mothers,
  • Patients of hemodialysis departments,
  • Donors,
  • Preinduction youth (in taking on the military accounting)
  • Those who came from prison,
  • Patients with suspected liver, biliary tract diseases,
  • Patients with HIV infection,
  • Patients with chronic oncologic, psycho-neurological, hematological diseases, tuberculosis,
  • Pregnant,
  • Paramedics who in their work are in contact with blood and blood products, organs and tissues, and other biological materials of a human.

In view of the risk of infection with parenteral hepatitides, in addition to the mandatory survey of infection in threatening situations to which you will be directed to a physician (research, which should not be ignored), it should do a blood test for hepatitis B and C if:

  • Ever use drugs, even if it was only a few times many years ago.
  •  Because of blood clotting disorders and during treatment were administered blood products before 1987.
  •  You had a blood transfusion or organ transplantation before July 1992
  •  You ever performed kidney dialysis.
  •  You expose yourself to risky sexual behavior.

At the request the study for the presence of hepatitis B antegen and antibodies to hepatitis C virus is carried out at Baranovichi blood transfusion station laboratory at: 50 years of the Komsomol, and for the presence of hepatitis B virus by PCR method in the laboratory of Hygiene and Epidemiology Center and others.

The assurance that you are not infected, is not only the security of your own health, but also the safety of people that are close to you!

It should be noted that it is possible to effectively fight the spread of parenteral hepatitides only by joint efforts of health workers, the population and the public:

For the prophylaxis of hepatitis B, C and D:

  • Do not expose yourself to risky sexual behavior, use condoms.
  • Do not use drugs
  • Be vigilant at home
    • Never use someone else's brush, manicure sets, razors.
    • Refuse the injection, if it is done by not extracted in front of you disposable syringe from a special package. Ear piercing, piercings and tattoo are permitted to be done in reputable beauty salons, where is compliance with all the rules of hygiene.
  • Do not refuse vaccination (against hepatitis B and A), especially if you are at risk or you will trip (business trip) to the countries of Asia, Africa and Central America.

including the need to seek medical help in the early stages of infection.


Prepared  July 2015. G.I.Zhlobich.

S.A. Garkavaja.