Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease that a person can contract from the Hepatitis B virus. The virus is spread through the sharing of bodily fluids, like other viruses such as the common cold. However, unlike the common cold, Hepatitis B can have serious and sometimes fatal effects.
Treatment Of Hepatitis B
It is only in the last 10 years that treatment for chronic Hepatitis B has become available. Now, there are several drugs available to people with Hepatitis B. The drug treatment is different depending on the age, health and severity of the disease in an individual patient. However, there are currently several drugs available to treat the disease and more clinical trials are underway.
Traumatic Brain Injury From Hepatitis
Hepatitis can have many serious effects on the body if it is not appropriately treated. Without proper treatment, many patients would experience liver failure. The toxins caused by the disease can also affect other important parts of the body such as the brain. If the brain is damaged from Hepatitis then the patient may experience many of the same effects as a traumatic brain injury caused by a car accident or other trauma.
Preventing Hepatitis B And Other Infectious Diseases
Hepatitis B is just one kind of infectious disease that can be spread through shared bodily fluids and have serious ramifications for the person who contracts it. Other diseases such as HIV and Group B Strep can also be contracted through shared bodily fluids and have a serious effect on a person’s health.
The best way to prevent Hepatitis B is to be vaccinated and to exercise caution on the job if you come into contact with someone else’s blood, saliva or other bodily fluid.
Health care workers are at the greatest risk of coming into contact with someone else’s bodily fluid due to the nature of their work. The chart below indicates that nurses and lab workers were at the greatest risk of contracting HIV while on the job during the 1981-2002 time period.
Figure 2-12. Distribution and number of documented cases of occupational transmission of HIV among health care workers by occupation, 1981-2002. Among the cases of occupational HIV transmission reported to the HIV/AIDS Reporting System (HARS) from 1981 through December 2002, 57 cases were documented and 139 cases were possible. Most documented cases of occupational HIV transmission occurred among nurses (24 cases or 42.1%) and laboratory workers (19 cases or 33.3%). Among the documented cases of HIV following occupational exposure, 84% resulted from percutaneous exposure.
Professionals in these fields should be taught proper protocols to avoid contact with patient’s bodily fluids so as to protect themselves from all infectious diseases including HIV and Hepatitis B.
The public counts on the work of health care professionals to keep us safe and healthy. It is therefore, important, that we encourage health care professionals to do the same and to prevent the transmission of infectious disease.