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Last Updated: May 18, 2023

Hepatitis B & C

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Dr. K. S Somasekhar RaoGastroenterologist • 22 Years Exp.DM - Gastroenterology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS

Diagnosis and Treatment for Hepatitis B & C

Hello. I am Dr. Somasekhar Rao, gastroenterologist, and hepatologist at Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad. I have been working as a a gastroenterologist for the last 8 years and the most common cause which I felt was that people are not aware was Hepatitis B and C. So, I thought I will talk to about these viruses in short. So, basically, there are two chronic Hepatitis viruses, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. We can talk about them together because they have similar symptoms most of the times and similar modes of transmission. So, these viruses when they infect a given body they don’t harm any other organs of the body except the liver and these viruses are hepatotropic viruses and this damage the liver.

The damage caused by these viruses can be detrimental, can cause cirrhosis of the liver and cancer of the liver. So, all these things are avoidable when we can treat them adequately at the right time. Most of the time if you do a simple test called HBsAg, we will be able to detect the virus called Hepatitis B and if you do a test Anti-HCV, we will be able to detect a virus called Hepatitis C. So, when we detect these viruses based on the patients other parameters and the liver function test, we will decide if the patient needs treatment and If the patient needs treatment, then there are good drugs available for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, it can cure the disease. so, if we treat the virus then there is no chance of liver damage like Cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.

The mode of transmission of this virus is very important to know. Most of the times it is not only it is always intravenous. It can be transmitted by intravenous injections or needle sharing. It can be transmitted by blood products. It can be transmitted by sexual transmission. And, most of the time we see this IV drug abuser sharing needles. Therefore, these are the chances of transmission. The most important root of transmission is mother-child transmission which is another possibility of these viruses. So, we should be aware of these viruses and modes of transmission so that we can avoid the transmission of these viruses.

So, Hepatitis B is a treatable disease whenever there is a necessity. Whenever the liver function tests are high or the Hepatitis B viral load is high, we need to treat them. There are very good anti-viral tablets available for Hepatitis B and you are preventing the liver from going into Cirrhosis or cancer of the liver. Hepatitis C is a curable disease based on the Hepatitis C RNA count and Hepatitis C genotype. There are various drugs available in the markets which are newly available where the cure rates for Hepatitis C are more than 90%. So, I would suggest a simple blood test for Hepatitis B that is HBsAg and for Hepatitis C Anti-HCV can save your liver.

If you are positive, you need to consult your doctor and get treated. You can contact me through Lybrate or I am available at Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad.


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