Hepatitis is classified in to five different types- A, B, C, D and E. Out of the five, most of them cause short term of acute infection. Amongst the five types, Hepatitis B is the most dangerous of all the Hepatitis infections which can only be prevented through vaccination. A majority of adults today are at risk as they did not get the Hepatitis B vaccine as children.
Founder of the National Liver Foundation, Dr. Samir Shah said, ''It is unfortunate that a disease that accounts for 10 times the burden and is 100 times more virulent in nature than HIV, stands completely ignored and diminished. Even in metro cities, doctors in private hospitals don't give Hepatitis B vaccination to children. Parents never ask for it, despite being able to afford it because of low awareness.''
According to the doctors, World Hepatitis Day is the best opportunity to focus on spreading awareness about Hepatitis. The doctors feel that while the focus should lie on prevention through better sanitation, vaccination and clean drinking water, the myths like Hepatitis spreads through hugging, holding hands, sharing food, breastfeeding, kissing or living with an infected person, should also be broken.
The doctors say, while Hepatitis B and C are transmitted through infected blood and fluid from one person to another, Hepatitis A and E spread through contaminated food and water. India becomes a home to Hepatitis A and E infections due to lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitation conditions. Also, awareness about Hepatitis B and C is very low.