In this last and final post in our four part series on hepatitis B, we cover follow-up procedures and tips to prevent this dangerous viral infection from affecting one of the most vital organs of our body – the liver.
Hepatitis B is a preventable disease. Prevention of hepatitis B needs a well chalked out plan in terms of education, strategy creation, implementation, control and monitoring. One has a very good chance to fight this disease with tools like widespread public awareness, prompt vaccinations, and effective lifestyle changes.
Tips To Reduce The Risk Of Contracting Hepatitis B
The hepatitis B vaccines offer an excellent source of protection against this viral infection. These vaccines are very safe. They contain an antigen that helps the body to create protective antibodies and are given in 3-4 doses over the course of several months.
A blood test done after vaccination confirms that the person’s body has formed antibodies. And in a rare case that the antibodies are not formed, re-vaccination is recommended.
High risk individuals like health care workers, dentists, sewage workers, infants born to infected mothers, patients who receive frequent blood transfusions, and people exposed to needles should opt for vaccinations after consulting a doctor as soon as possible.
These days an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) is given in addition to the vaccine to substantially reduce the risk of infection.
Transfused Blood Products
It is very important to use sterilized syringes when receiving blood/blood products. Needles should not be shared with others, as well as the nurse injecting the patient should wear latex gloves to protect herself from unintended blood touch.
Care should be taken to not share toothbrushes, combs, razors and tweezers. These should be cleaned thoroughly after every use and stored in a cool, dry place.
If you are thinking of getting a tattoo, follow safety procedures and insist on using a new needle.
Eat a well balanced diet to enhance immunity especially if you are experiencing nausea, sickness and vomiting.
Finally, regular light exercises like walking, swimming and cycling go a long way towards strengthening the immune system and fighting infections.
In the unfortunate situation that an individual has been diagnosed with hepatitis B, he/she should undergo tests to diagnose other related infections like hepatitis A, C, D and E and then receive appropriate vaccinations to maximize the chances of fighting the infection.
In this four part series on hepatitis B, we tried to present a complete picture of hepatitis B – starting from explaining the different phases a patient goes through, to the symptoms generally experienced, the causes, diagnostic procedure, treatment options, follow-up and finally prevention tips. Do let us know in the comments if you liked this series and would like to see more of such posts on Indusladies.