Punjab University observed 'World Hepatitis Day' with a talk on the subject at its BGI Institute of Health. R Khullar, delivering the talk, laid special emphasis on the preventive aspects of hepatitis.
A walkathon was also organized where participants spread the message of hepatitis prevention.
Dr Khullar said there are about 400 million people living with hepatitis B and C in the world and 1.4 million die due to these infections every year. "Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis A and E are transmitted through contaminated food and water. Hepatitis B is transmitted through unsafe blood and body fluids, and Hepatitis-C mostly through unsafe blood," he said.
"All these viruses cause acute hepatitis- causing symptoms of fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, yellowness of eyes and urine etc. Most of the people fully recover. A small number can die from acute hepatitis," he added.
Dr Khullar further said that Hepatitis B and C can become chronic and lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. "Hepatitis infections can be prevented by providing safe drinking water and food (hepatitis A and E) and vaccines (hepatitis A and B) screening of blood and sterile injection techniques. Hepatitis B and C can be sexually transmitted and to the newborn child through mother," he further added.