Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Hepatitis affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing both acute and chronic liver disease, and killing close to 1.4 million people every year.
Considering the size of the epidemic, anyone and everyone can be at risk. But you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection. Perhaps, understanding how the different types of hepatitis - hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E - spread is the first key to prevention.
- Practice good hygiene - Hepatitis A and hepatitis E are excreted through the feces of an infected person. You can get hepatitis A or E by consuming contaminated food or water. Therefore, practicing good hygiene is one key factor to prevent contracting hepatitis.
- Avoid sharing of personal items – Hepatitis types B and C are transmitted through blood and multiple bodily fluids. Not sharing needles, razors, toothbrush, and not touching spilled blood can help prevent getting the infection.
- Practice safe sex - Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted sexually, hence using a condom and practicing safe sex is especially important for people diagnosed with these conditions.
- Immunization – Take precautions when travelling. Be sure to get immunized to hepatitis A and B.
- Alcohol and drugs – Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of developing liver disease. It's best to drink alcohol in moderation if you do drink. Also, some drugs and herbal supplements can lead to hepatitis.