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Hepatitis D is a liver disease, an infection that causes inflammation to the liver causing impairment in liver function and even long-term liver problems such as cirrhosis and cancer. It is caused by the Hepatitis D virus which requires the presence of hepatitis B virus for its replication. Hence, Hepatitis D virus can only infect those who are already infected with Hepatitis B. According to WHO, approximately 15 million people across the world are chronically co-infected with HDV and HBV. Hepatitis can be either acute or chronic. HDV can be transmitted via a co-infection which is a simultaneous infection with HBV or a superinfection which accelerates the progression of the disease to almost a decade earlier than those monoinfected with HBV. Why this occurs though is still unclear, although HDV suppresses the replication of HBV. HDV, also, like all other hepatitis diseases is transmitted through bodily fluids. HDV doesn't always show symptoms but when they do occur it consists of Jaundice, dark urine, joint pain, abdominal pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting. HDV is a virus that could go away on its own when in the acute stage but if the infection persists for more than six months then it becomes chronic which is when it makes the progression of the disease faster. There is no cure, or rather effective antiviral treatment for Hepatitis D. Antiviral therapy though is still given to treat HDV. The duration of treatment is not less than one year even then it's quite likely that patients relapse after discontinuation. Liver transplantation is undergone when there is severe impairment of liver and end-stage liver disease. HDV can, though, be prevented with HBV immunization since the control of HDV depends on the prevention of HBV transmission. Though, immunization will not work on those who are already affected with HBV.
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