Viral hepatitis is a serious public health problem in Brazil and throughout the world. It is an infection of the liver that causes mild, moderate or severe changes. Most often it is a silent infection, that is, they have no symptoms. However, when present, it can present as: fatigue, fever, malaise, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, yellow skin and eyes, dark urine, and light stools.
In São Carlos, there were 55 new cases (between hepatitis B and C) in 2020 and from January to July 6, 2021, 30 new cases. It’s easy to run quick tests to see if a person is a carrier of hepatitis B and C virus. “Look for a health facility near your home or a CAIC, and find out the result 15 minutes later,” advises Cintia Martins Ruggiero, IST coordinator /Aids/CAIC Viral Hepatitis Program.
HBV (hepatitis B virus) can survive for long periods outside the body (BOND et al., 1981), and has a greater potential for infection than hepatitis C viruses (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in susceptible individuals. The main forms of transmission are: Sexual contact with an infected person without using a condom. from infected mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth; sharing of substances used for drug use (syringes, needles, tubes); sharing personal hygiene items (razors, razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers or other objects that pierce or cut); in making tattoos and placing punctures, dental procedures or surgical procedures that do not meet biosafety standards; by direct person-to-person contact (presumably from cuts, wounds and fractures); Blood transfusion (mostly pre-1993).
Some groups are considered to be more susceptible to infection due to their increased exposure to the virus, such as sex workers, people who use drugs, people deprived of liberty and people who live on the streets.
Chronic hepatitis C virus is a silent disease that develops surreptitiously and is characterized by a persistent inflammatory process in the liver. Approximately 60% to 85% of cases become chronic, and on average, 20% develop cirrhosis over time. Once a diagnosis of cirrhosis has been established, the annual risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is 1% to 5% (WESTBROOK; DUSHEIKO, 2014).
Hepatitis C is considered a global epidemic. In Brazil, a mathematical model developed in 2016 estimated that about 657,000 people had HCV infection and, therefore, an indication for treatment. Between 1999 and 2018, 359,673 cases of hepatitis C were reported in Brazil. Most individuals infected with hepatitis C are unaware of their diagnosis.
The highest prevalence of hepatitis C is among people over 40 years of age, and it is most frequently found in the southern and southeastern regions of the country. People undergoing dialysis, deprived of liberty, drug users and people living with HIV are examples of populations most susceptible to infection with HBV.
Hepatitis C virus transmission can occur through: contact with contaminated blood, sharing needles, syringes and other objects of drug use (tubes); reusing or not sterilizing medical or dental equipment; failure of sterilization of manicure equipment; reuse of materials for tattooing; Invasive procedures (eg dialysis, surgeries, blood transfusion) without proper biosafety care; the use of contaminated blood and its derivatives; Sexual intercourse without a condom (less common), mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy or childbirth (less common).
Attention: the diagnosis of viral hepatitis is fast, there is a cure, hepatitis can develop into liver cancer if left untreated, there is a vaccine against hepatitis B, and pregnant women receive prenatal care because hepatitis is transmitted from mother to fetus.
The Chronic Infection Care Center (CAIC São Carlos) is located in Avenida São Carlos, 3392. More information about testing can be obtained by calling (16) 3419-8240.
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