Hepatitis B 100 times more infectious than HIV, Expert warns
A consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist with the Godfrey Okoye University Teaching Hospital (GOUNTH), Enugu, Dr Adiri Winfred, has warned that Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is 100 times more infectious than HIV.
Winfred gave the warning while educating some Enugu residents on the dangers of Hepatitis, especially which of B and C, at an event organised by GOUNTH and sponsored by Emzor Vaccines in commemoration of “2023 World Hepatitis Day”, with the theme “One Life, One Liver”, on Tuesday in Enugu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participants were offered free Hepatitis test.
She described hepatitis B as dangerous due to the fact that it had no cure, adding that its treatment was to reduce the virus.
The expert said the available drugs cannot eradicate the virus, stressing that one thing about it is “when integrated into patient’s DNA, it becomes difficult for eradication.
“The drug we have can reduce the viral load of the patient from having liver cirrhosis and liver cancer which seemed to be a rising issue in our environment.
“A lot of people have died from the complications arising from Hepatitis B virus and that is why we are advocating that governments should aid patients down with the virus.
“This free screening will help to enlighten those with symptoms of Hepatitis B to come for treatment,” she said.
Winfred further explained that Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted through exposure to infective blood, sex, and other body fluids, infected mothers to infants at the time of birth, from family member to infants in early childhood.
Others are through transfusions of contaminated blood, use of contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injecting drug use, playing with sharp objects and clippers.
“The symptoms of acute and chronic hepatitis B include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice,” she said.
She, however, advised Nigerians on the need for hepatitis B vaccination to prevent the virus.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Chief Medical Director of GOUNTH, Prof Cajethan Nwadinigwe, said the exercise was a partnership/public enlightenment and Screening programme.