Preventive and Control Measures For Hepatitis B Essay Example

Introduction

Hepatitis is a medical condition characterized by the general inflammation of the liver cells and tissues. Its effects are either temporary (acute) or long-term (chronic) depending on the infection period, lasting less or more than six weeks. It occurs in five viral types ranging from hepatitis A to Hepatitis E with causative agents including viruses, toxins, autoimmune diseases, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and heavy alcohol use. Hepatitis A and E are spread via contact with food or water prior to exposure to pathogens and whereas hepatitis B is sexually transmitted or through mother to baby infection.

Mode of Transmission

Both Hepatitis B is also spread through contact with infected blood while Hepatitis D only affects individuals previously infected by Hepatitis B. Signs of the disease include yellow skin and white of the eyes discoloration, appetite loss, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Hepatitis B is the most prevalent of all hepatitis types occurring in three times more infections than both Hepatitis A and Hepatitis C separately (Shih, 2013). NASH is the least prevalent representing a tenth of all Hepatitis infections and has no specific treatment. Medication is vital in treating chronic hepatitis and liver transplants are the last resort.

Hepatitis B is spread through sexual intercourse, intravenous drug use and close proximity to an infected person, tattooing, and acupuncture. However, the virus cannot be spread through kissing, hugging, sharing utensils, breastfeeding, coughing, or sneezing. Diagnosis of the infection can be undertaken thirty to sixty days after exposure and is ascertained by testing for the presence of the virus or antibodies against the virus in the blood or serum. Hepatitis is however preventable by vaccination (Clark, 2008).

The Incubation Period

Hepatitis B virus can manage seven days outside the body of the host and causes infection upon re-entry. The incubation period lasts about 75 days but varies from one to six months depending on the individual. Incubation lasts up to two to three months for acute hepatitis infections (infection lasting less than six months) and four to six months for chronic hepatitis. Children who develop hepatitis in their first five years usually result in chronic hepatitis for 90% of the cases and 10% for children developing infections past five years.

The Infection Prevention Control Measures and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Required

Vaccines have been proposed for hepatitis B prevention since the early 1990s. They are administered in three doses each a month apart. The recipient is expected to build an anti-HB antibody level of at least 10 mIU per ml in his/ her serum. During conception in mothers infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis B immune globulin and an accelerated form of hepatitis B virus vaccine are administered to prevent transmission in 86% to 99% of the cases (Clark, 2008). Individuals whose professions expose them to body fluids risk infection and have to undergo mandatory vaccinations.

The protective cover offered by vaccines lasts even when antibody levels drop under 10 mIU per ml and provides protection even sixty years later. In human artificial insemination, sperm washing is mandatory for males with hepatitis B to curb transmission to offspring or to female partners without effective vaccinations. Screening for individuals at risk of new hepatitis infections is also a key step in infection prevention control (Berger, 2017). For instance, sex workers, homosexuals, HIV-infected individuals, intravenous drug users, and those living with hepatitis B are encouraged to undergo frequent screening since effective treatment is available. People from areas with a hepatitis B prevalence of over 5% should frequent screening too.

How to Prevent and Control the Transmission of the Microorganisms That Are Likely To Cause the Infection

Prevention of new hepatitis B infections, however, requires personal attention to societal matters that might expose an individual to the virus. The use of condoms as protective measures for health workers and homosexuals is also encouraged (Shih, 2013). Proper sterilization of tattoo and piercing equipment should be maintained to further lower new infections by unsterilized piercing equipment. One should always insist on hepatitis vaccinations when visiting areas with high prevalence with newer vaccine injections to boost those already vaccinated (Ray, 1979). Children and adolescents not vaccinated at birth along with the disabled living in institutions of care also require vaccination.

A Newspaper Article Related to the Disease

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is encouraged to lower the risk of exposure to hepatitis B. PPE is designed to protect the skin and vital membranes of the eyes, the nose, and mouth to prevent exposure to infectious matter. A surgical mask and protective eyewear should be worn by medical practitioners such as dentists to lower the risk of new infections. Practitioners like coroners and pathologists should wear protective full-body clothing and gloves at all times when handling risky viral agents (National Academy of Sciences, 2016)

References

Berger, S. (2017). Hepatitis B (2017 edition). Los Angeles, CA: GIDEON Informatics Inc.

Clark, A. L. (2008). Behavioral cognitions and factors related to hepatitis B vaccine acceptance and compliance in a cohort of drug users in Houston, Texas. ProQuest.

Shih, C. (2013). Chronic hepatitis B and C: Basic science to clinical applications. New Jersey: World Scientific.

Ray, M. B. (1979). Hepatitis B Virus Antigens in Tissues. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

National Academy of Sciences. (2016). Hepatitis B and C could be Eliminated as Public Health Problems in U.S., Report Says. Infection Control Today Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/news/2016/04/hepatitis-b-and-c-could-be-eliminated-as-public-health-problems-in-us-report-says.aspx

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