The Causes, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment for Hepatitis B

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TheCauses, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment for Hepatitis B




TheCause, Symptoms, Complications, and Treatment for Hepatitis B

HepatitisB is a communicable disease that is potentially life threateningbecause it affects the liver the disease is caused by Hepatitis Bvirus. According to the report that was released by the World HealthOrganization (WHO), Hepatitis B has become a major problem across theglobe. Additionally, the disease can cause broth chronic and acutediseases thus causing high risks of death to people who are sufferingfrom liver cirrhosis and cancer. The key facts about Hepatitis B arethat, firstly, the disease is caused by a viral infection thatattacks the liver thus causing the chronic condition to the affectedpatient. Secondly, statistically, it is estimated that around 780thousand people die annually due to complications caused by hepatitisB such as cancer of the liver or cirrhosis.

Whatare the causes and mode of transmission for Hepatitis B?

Theprimary cause of Hepatitis B is coming into contact with body fluidsuch as blood or an open sore of an infected person. Additionally,because the disease is viral, it is transmitted through unprotectedsex, sharing of sharps and also syringes. However, the hepatitis Bdoes not stay long in an infected person if and only if the person isnot a carrier (Perz etal.,2006). If the affected person has been vaccinated against thedisease, the virus does not last long because the vaccine is 95percent effective.


Thedisease is also referred to as a ‘silent disease or infection’because the symptoms are not noticeable especially when the patientis first infected. However, when an adult is infected with HepatitisB virus, there are various symptoms that can be noticed depending onthe reactions given by their body. However, because the signs arehard to notice, the virus is easily passed to others. According toElewa,Sandri, Kim, &amp Fervenza (2011),hepatitis B show no symptoms in about 70 percent of the infectedindividuals. However, a small number (1 percent) of the infectedpeople develop symptoms that are life-threatening, the condition iscaused by “fulminant” hepatitis (Villeneuveet al., 2000).

Peoplein such chronic status are subjected to liver failure, and immediateattention is required else they are at high risk of death. As aresult, the most common symptoms of hepatitis B include fatigue,fever, joint and muscle. Moreover, patients with hepatitis Bexperience loss of appetite, vomiting, and mild nausea. In a seriouscondition, an infected person may experience severe nausea, vomiting,yellowing of the skin and eyes or jaundice, and swollen or bloatedstomach.

Complicationand Transmission

Theamazing thing about the Hep virus is that the virus can surviveoutside the human body for more than seven days and still causeinfection to persons who come into contact and are not protected bythe vaccine. Moreover, the virus has an incubation period of 60 to 75days however, the incubation can vary from 30 days to around 180days. The complication of the disease is that the virus can infectionand persist thus developing to a chronic level. Firstly, the commonmode of transmission is the perinatal transmission that occurs whenan infected mother passes it to a child at birth. Secondly, there isthe horizontal transmission that takes place through contact withexposed blood or body fluid (mucosal or percutaneous exposure) froman infected person. Elewaetal.(2011) argue that thetransmission of hepatitis B is common in infants who are below fiveyears, and they get it from their mother.

Howevermucosal exposure is the common mode of transmission because of cominginto contact with body fluids such as saliva, vaginal fluid,menstrual, and seminal fluid. For this reason, hepatitis B can betransmitted through sexual intercourse this happens when a person isheterosexual and is having multiple sex partners (McMahonetal.,2009).Lastly, the virus can be transmitted during surgical, medicaloperations, tattooing, dental procedures, or through sharing ofobjects that are contaminated with an infected person.

Demographicsof interest

Themortality rate for hepatitis B is very high because in a year thevirus causes around 780, 000 deaths. Additionally, according tostatistics that was given by WHO in 2013, there is an estimate of 240million of people who are living with the chronic condition ofhepatitis B. Moreover, the surface antigen for hepatitis B is veryhigh and mostly last for six months if medical attention is nottaken the virus can cause more deaths.

Onthe same hand, geographically, Hep B is very high in East Asia andsub-Saharan Africa in these two regions, between five and tenpercent of the total population is infected with chronic hepatitis.This means that the mortality rate is very high in the two regions.Additionally, there are high infection rates of hepatitis B in thesouthern parts of the Central and Eastern Europe such as Amazon.However, in parts such as North of America and Western of Europe,there is less than 1 percent of people who are infected with chronichepatitis B. This paper examines the mortality rate of hepatitis B.

Determinantsof health and how they contribute to development of Hepatitis B

Themain determinant of health is the social ability of the affectedpersons depending on the age. This is because the chances that thehepatitis B will develop to a chronic status depend on the age atwhich a person is infected. For example, children who are aged lessthan six years of age are become infected with hepatitis B virus aremore likely to develop the chronic hepatitis B (McMahonetal.,2009). Statistics shows that between 80 and 90 percent of the children whoare infected at the infant stage or during their first year in lifeare more likely to develop chronic hepatitis B infections. In adultswho are aged 65 years or more develop the chronic hepatitis B and aremore likely to suffer from liver cancer or cirrhosis. Moreover, morethan 10 percent of the adults suffering from hepatitis B are reportedto develop chronic hepatitis.

Otherdeterminants of health include economic and wealth status of theperson. People who are wealthy can eat well and to seek formedication than people who are poor. For this reason, the poor peopleare subjected to hepatitis B because they go sharing clothes, sharps,or even engage in commercial sex that increases their chances ofcontracting hepatitis B virus. Lastly, the environmental risk factorsalso influence the rate at which hepatitis B is passed from oneperson to another. For example, a hospital that is not clean,contaminated water supply and poor disposal of waste materials fromhomes or hospitals with hepatitis B infected person increases thechances of the virus transmissions.

EpidemiologicTriangle for Hepatitis B

Theepidemiology triangle for Hepatitis B is common when studying thecauses, complication, symptoms, and treatment of the disease. Themain parts that make the triangle include the host factors, the agentfactors, and the environmental factors that influence the presence orabsence of hepatitis B. When examining the host factors include theimmune status, sex, age, family background, income, and the geneticprofile of the person (Lavanchy,2004).For example, people whose immune status is strong are protectedagainst hepatitis B virus as compared to individuals whose immune isweak. Additionally, as discussed earlier, young children aged between6 years and below are subjected to hepatitis and has high chances ofcontracting chronic hepatitis.

Onthe other hand, there is the agent factor that in the case ofHepatitis B is a virus. The virus spread very fast as compared tobacteria. As a result, hepatitis B is a communicative disease thatspread through coming to contact with blood or fluid that iscontaminated with hepatitis virus. This means that the agent factorin the hepatitis B epidemiological triangle is the presence of avirus that is transmitted through coming into contact with aninfected person’s body fluid. Lastly, the environmental factorsthat include sharing of sharps, using contaminated water, food, ormilk, and pollution that include exposing the waste materialshospital waste material to the people contribute to the spread ofhepatitis virus.

Therole of the community health nurses on hepatitis B patients

Peoplesuffering from hepatitis B require immense surveillance andmonitoring from the health caregivers. This is because the diseasecan develop from the acute to chronic condition this threatening thelife of the patients. Consequently, the role of the community healthnurses is to collect data about the patients, carry out case findingto monitor the progress of the hepatitis B patients, data analysis,and making a follow-up with the hepatitis B patients. Additionally,the health nurses has the responsibilities of conducting researcheson the causes and prevention measures that need to be carried out tocontrol the spread rates of hepatitis B. The nurses should developstrategies that aid in direct prevention and control of humanactivities that promote spread of the disease (Loket al., 2003)this include data collection and analysis to evaluate the impact ofthe human activities such as having multiple sex partners and sharingof sharps which increases the chances of contracting hepatitis B.

Again,the nurses should create awareness to the general public that anyindividual who is suffering from hepatitis B virus is a potentialagent of transmission and can affect other people. As a result, it isthe role of the health nurses to carry out investigations of thepeople who are infected with hepatitis B and develop measures thatprevent further transmission through vaccination or possibleinterventions.

Organizationthat is addressing Hepatitis B as a communicative disease

Themain organization that has been in the front line to address theissue of Hepatitis B is World Health Organization (WHO). For example,in March 2015, the organization launched the guidelines that shouldbe followed when preventing, taking care, and treating Hepatitis Bpatients. Additionally, the organization has taken absolute measuresto create awareness about hepatitis B virus. Secondly, theorganization has contributed to resolving and reducing the impact ofhepatitis B through the formulation of evidence that are based on thepolicy and data used for action. Thirdly, Yeoetal.(2000) affirm that most of the vaccination against hepatitis B arepromoted by WHO and are aimed at preventing transmission of thevirus, ensure safe blood transfusion, and safe injections to controlthe spread rate of hepatitis B. Lastly, WHO has played a greater partin promoting access to screening and monitoring of hepatitis Bpatients through care and overhaul treatment services.


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