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Jul 27

When is the right time to treat Hepatitis?

Dr Adebayo,

When is the right time to treat hepatitis? I mean, after first diagnosis? And where can it be treated in the country (Nigeria)?

Kemi (Lagos)

Dear Kemi,

Thank you for your question.

The term “Hepatitis” generally refers to  inflammation of the liver which be as a result of a number of causes – viruses, alcohol, medications, chemicals,  & some infections to mention a few. The most common type is viral hepatitis which I believe is what you are asking about.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently declared that one third of the global population  (about two billion people) have been infected with the  viral hepatitis which kills about a million victims annually. Hence the prompt diagnosis and management of viral hepatitis is of utmost importance.

A person with hepatitis may not have any symptom. Where there are symptoms, they may include: jaundice (yellowness of the eyes and other mucus membranes), weakness, fever, aches and pains, & poor appetite amongst others.

Hepatitis may be acute (less than 6 months in duration) or chronic (more than 6 months in duration).

Definitive diagnosis of viral hepatitis is done through blood tests to determine the type (A, B, C , D or E) of the virus.

Management of the disease commences immediately after diagnosis. Counselling and supportive measures are important parts of management.

Any trained physician can be your first point of call for the management of hepatitis. Specialist care for viral hepatitis is provided by consultant physicians. You can have access to consultant physicians in all teaching hospitals in Nigeria, as well as select general hospitals and private specialist hospitals. Consult your doctor for more details.

I hope I have answered you question to satisfaction?

Best regards,

Dr Adebayo

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