Hepatitis B Epidemiology Essay

1395 words - 6 pages

Hepatitis B Virus: Epidemiological and Social Implications
Amy Berry
Grand Canyon University
Concepts in Community and Public Health
Sandra White
August 21, 2015

Hepatitis B Virus: Epidemiological and Social Implications
The Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is an infection that attacks the liver and is categorized as both acute and chronic. The geographic prevalence between five and ten percent is predominantly in African and East Asian countries and only a one percent occurrence in the United States. The global incidence of HBV is approximately two billion people worldwide and of those, 350 million have chronic liver dysfunctionality resulting in an increased mortality risk ...view middle of the document...

The immuno-response to HBV contact is alterable and can give rise to the manifestation of acute, symptomatic infection, subclinical, lasting upwards of six months, symptomatic chronic infection or immunity Although most acute cases resolve extemporaneously, a small number of individuals develop an acute crisis termed, fulminant hepatitis, or massive hepatic necrosis which is an insidious occurrence of confusion, generalized edematous findings in upper, abdominal and lower extremities, clotting malfunction and coma and the only cure is liver transplantation. Chronic sufferers will eventually succumb to cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinomas (Caple & Schub, 2015).
The transmission of the virus is correlated to body fluid contact such as saliva semen and blood that consist of skin puncture or contact with mucosa which includes sexual intercourse, needle sticks, contact with razors or toothbrushes with an infected person, illicit drug use which involves needle sharing and fetal contact with an infected mother. Individuals who receive hemodialysis, blood transfusions or immunosuppressive medications are at eminent risk of exposure or a reduced resistance to HBV. Symptoms vary between acute and chronic but may however include tea-colored urine, nausea, vomiting, fever, malaise, jaundice, clay-colored stools, splenomegaly and hepatomegaly. Damage to the hepatic cell by necrosis or scarring and damage are the result of cell-mediated immunity whereby cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells attack the hepatocytes causing cell death. The incubation time ranges from six weeks to six months after initial exposure and may present with relatively few symptoms that contribute to the high propensity for chronic infections (McCance & Huether, 2002).
Treatment for acute HBV is often resolved spontaneously depending upon the patient’s immune system and current health. Chemotherapeutic regimens for chronic HBV include antivirals such as interferon, nucleotides and nucleosides and the treatment plan is determined upon a combination of age demographic, HBV DNA status, alanine transaminase (ALT) levels and the disease severity. Although not curative, treatment may quash viral replication, lessen inflammation and reverse fibrotic episodes.
The social determinants of HBV include numerous cultural, social, economic and environmental causative factors related to health disparities, health inequities and populations with accelerated high-risk behavior engagement. Environmental and social factors including income, education, neighborhood affiliation and race all contribute to health care and healthy outcomes. Health education is one of the most relative and significant indicators of health promotion and maintenance as it may lead to unemployment, substandard housing, poor neighborhoods with little access to proper nutrition and fresh foods and the opportunity for exercise thereby leading to risky behaviors, illnesses and subsequent death. The...

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