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10 Hepatitis Prevention Needs to Start Now

10 Hepatitis Prevention Needs to Start Now

Hepatitis is a disease with many cases in developing countries, including Indonesia. Inflammatory liver disease is generally caused by a virus so that it can be transmitted to other people. Therefore, you need to know the right way to prevent hepatitis. 

How to prevent hepatitis transmission 
There are five types of hepatitis caused by viruses, namely hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. In addition, there is non-viral hepatitis associated with the effects of drugs, alcohol, or autoimmune diseases. 

Like other infectious diseases, hepatitis can develop into outbreaks in several places. Around the end of April 2022, WHO reported cases of acute hepatitis of unknown cause occurred in 20 countries. 

On May 9, 2022, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, said that there had been 15 cases of mysterious hepatitis in children found in Indonesia. 

The good news is that you can do various ways in anticipation of the transmission of hepatitis and mysterious acute hepatitis. The slightest prevention effort can certainly break the spread of hepatitis and avoid new disease outbreaks. 

1. Hepatitis vaccine 
One way to prevent hepatitis transmission is to get a hepatitis vaccine. Even so, so far, only available vaccines for two types of viral hepatitis, namely hepatitis A and hepatitis B. 

Vaccines are the most effective prevention method to reduce the number of hepatitis cases. The reason is that when the hepatitis vaccine is given to people who are at risk of infection, the body will be stimulated to make antibodies.

These antibodies will later play a role in fighting the hepatitis virus if at any time it enters the body. 

Normally, both the hepatitis A vaccine and the hepatitis B vaccine are received when you are a baby. However, adults or teenagers can also get vaccinated with adjusted doses. 

If you are pregnant, discuss it with your doctor first. The reason is that vaccination is feared to impact the fetus's Health in the womb. This also applies when you have certain diseases or health conditions. 

2. Regular hand washing 
Apart from vaccines, you can also apply a clean and healthy lifestyle. Maintaining cleanliness is the main key to preventing hepatitis, especially the types of hepatitis that do not have a vaccine, such as hepatitis C, D, E, and mysterious hepatitis. 

One of the preventions of hepatitis that needs to be applied is washing hands. Try to get into the habit of washing your hands when: 
  • before and after eating, 
  • after using the bathroom, and 
  • before and after processing food ingredients. 
Regular hand washing can be a way to prevent hepatitis, especially hepatitis A and hepatitis E. These two types of viruses can be transmitted from feces to the food or drink consumed. 

That is why washing hands with soap can at least reduce to eliminate the virus that sticks to the hands. 

3. Use a condom when having sex 
Did you know that having sex with people with hepatitis, especially hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis D, puts you at risk for the same disease? 

Hepatitis B, for example, can be transmitted through contact with infected body fluids, such as semen and vaginal fluids. Suppose you have sex with a partner exposed to hepatitis. In that case, getting hepatitis is even greater, especially when you are not using contraception. 

That's why it's important to know your partner's disease history as a way to prevent hepatitis. Suppose your partner or a family member has a history of hepatitis. In that case, you should have sexual intercourse, either anal or oral, with a condom. 

4. Avoid sharing syringes. 
Needles or other medical devices that are not sterile can be a means of spreading the hepatitis virus. It would help if you were vigilant, especially when working as a health worker who directly contacts people with hepatitis. 

In addition, indiscriminate use of needles, such as needles in tattooing or illegal drugs, can also be a medium for transmitting the virus. 
Therefore, the next effort or way to prevent acute hepatitis is to avoid the use of syringes. 

You never know the health condition of people who used needles before you, whether exposed to infectious diseases or not. 

5. Not using personal hygiene tools with others 
Sharing with other people is not a bad thing. However, you still need to know when to share something with others. 

For example, sharing toothbrushes, razors, nail clippers, and other personal tools can increase the risk of hepatitis, especially hepatitis C. Sometimes hepatitis patients have no symptoms of hepatitis.

If the person's blood sticks to one of your hygiene kits, the virus can enter the body. As a result, you are at risk of contracting hepatitis. 
That's why try to choose which items can be used together and which ones should be used alone to prevent hepatitis. 

6. Pay attention to food and drink hygiene. 
Food and drink contaminated with viruses can be a transmission route of hepatitis. One type of hepatitis virus that is often transmitted through food and drink is hepatitis A and hepatitis E. 

The Ministry of Health also suspects that the mysterious acute hepatitis in children is caused by a virus that attacks the digestive tract. That is, transmission can come from contaminated food. 

Some raw foods, such as shellfish, tend to be at risk of being a medium for developing the virus that causes hepatitis. Therefore, try to consume food and drinks cooked, clean, and processed hygienically. 

When you eat out, choose foods that are guaranteed to be cooked. Meanwhile, when traveling out of town and the sanitation in the surrounding environment is not clean, you should drink bottled mineral water. 

Another way to prevent food-borne hepatitis is to make sure you don't share cutlery with other people. Also, make sure to keep the cutlery you use clean. 

7. Maintain liver health 
How prevent hepatitis transmission must also be accompanied by maintaining liver health. The reason is that non-viral hepatitis, such as alcoholic hepatitis, can occur due to excessive alcohol consumption, thus damaging the liver and triggering hepatitis.

There are several ways you can do to maintain liver health to prevent hepatitis, including: 
  • stop drinking alcoholic beverages, 
  • stop smoking to reduce the risk of hepatitis C, 
  • avoid excessive consumption of iron and vitamin A supplements, 
  • be careful when using herbal supplements, like kava, and 
  • maintain ideal body weight. 
How to prevent hepatitis can also help the body's health, in general, to fight infection with the hepatitis virus. 

8. Preventing hepatitis transmission through blood transfusion 
Recipients of blood donors or organ transplants are also at risk of experiencing hepatitis, especially hepatitis B and hepatitis C. This transmission mode is quite rare because before someone donates blood, they must undergo an examination first. 

The examination aims to see whether the donor has diseases that can be transmitted through blood, such as hepatitis and HIV. The procedure is under the supervision of PMI, which is guaranteed by Law no. 36/2009 on Health. 

The government is responsible for implementing blood donation services that are safe, easily accessible, and under the community's needs. 

9. Get to know your family health history 
By finding out your own family's health history related to hepatitis, you can be more alert and implement ways to prevent hepatitis more effectively.

It also aims to be more careful about the transmission of hepatitis. 

Suppose one of your family members has been infected with hepatitis. In that case, you should do regular check-ups to get a definite answer. 

If you want to know what tests are done to diagnose hepatitis, especially mysterious hepatitis, please contact your doctor for the right solution. 

10. Avoid swimming as prevent of mysterious hepatitis 
Until now, WHO and the Ministry of Health are still investigating the causes of hepatitis I experienced by children. 

Limiting mobility can be the right step to avoid the transmission of diseases whose cause is not known with certainty, you and your family should limit activities in public places and recreational areas, such as shopping centers, playgrounds, and swimming pools. 

If you want to reduce the risk of transmitting infection, choose the right time to visit, such as swimming when there are few visitors or swimming in a quiet pool area. 

While in public, keep your distance and wear a mask when interacting with other people. Clean the body after swimming using your toiletries. 

For more effective hepatitis prevention, postpone planning a vacation with your little one at the pool or other tourist attractions.

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