Amitabh Bachchan, the superstar of the millennium, has the Midas effect on almost anything that he comes across. The smallest of issue or topic which has a reference of him becomes a news. Rather it should be said that an issue that involves him can never be small. And the topics such as health of Amitabh Bachchan or health and Amitabh Bachchan or simply health, are of utmost concern.
Many of us know that sometime back Mr. Bachchan was diagnosed of Hepatitis B and since then he has been campaigning for spreading awareness against the disease. During one such campaign he revealed that when he had got seriously injured while shooting ‘Cooli’ movie, he needed blood transfusion. At that time, 200 people had donated blood as per the medical requirement. And of those donors, one was a carrier of hepatitis B due to which he too suffered from the disease. ‘’By the time it was diagnosed, only one fourth of my liver was left,” said Bachchan.
Unfortunately. Mr. Bachchan could not be vaccinated against Hepatitis B but we could very well be.
Hepatitis B is an infectious liver disease that is caused by the virus of same name. The virus causes irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the liver. Its symptoms include extreme fatigue, fever, headache, appetite loss, nausea, and vomiting. However, your body may get infected without showing any of the symptoms.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) gives following key facts about Hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.
- The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
- An estimated 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B (defined as hepatitis B surface antigen positive for at least 6 months).
- More than 780 000 people die every year due to complications of hepatitis B, including cirrhosis and liver cancer1.
- Hepatitis B is an important occupational hazard for health workers.
- However, it can be prevented by currently available safe and effective vaccine.
Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, M.D., paediatrics says Hep B is highly contagious and hundred times more common than HIV. It causes acute hepatitis (jaundice), chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma (cancer of liver). Hepatitis B is potentially fatal but we have an excellent vaccine that gives almost 100 percent protection after complete schedule. Three doses at day zero, one month and six months is the schedule. One third of the packed syringes are contaminated but recycled. Any of us may suffer an accident or may require hospital care. We do not know about the next injection or blood transfusion that we may get. Hence, all of us must get hepatitis B vaccine.
Dr. Sanjeev further discusses that many vaccines which are available nowadays were not available a decade or more ago. Medical sciences have come a long way since the time we were born. A lot of deadly diseases can be prevented by vaccines now. But we are a strange set of people. Whereas on one hand we are very concerned and agile for vaccinating our babies, on the other hand when it comes to getting ourselves vaccinated, somehow we develop a lethargic attitude towards it. We do not take it on priority. Most of the doctors and parents do not discuss adult vaccines or diseases that we adults can prevent by vaccinating ourselves. Now a days we all can be vaccinated against Hep A, Hep B, M.M. R., Chickenpox, Flu, Typhoid, Tdap and Cervical Cancer (only for women).
Dr. Sanjeev Kumar
Faridabad Medical Centre
Phone: 0129-2980378, Mobile: 9891001441
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