All You need to About The Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) 0

The liver, the largest organ inside the belly, could be infected with many pathogens. Infection of the liver by the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is known as Hepatitis B. HBV can cause both acute and chronic liver diseases.


The Hepatitis B virus (HBV), is a highly infectious virus, transmitted through blood and genital fluids of infected persons. The virus is transmitted through contact with any of the following body fluids:

  •  Blood
  • Menstrual fluid
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Seminal fluids, of an infected person.

Hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body for more than one week and will cause infection if it enters the body of the unvaccinated person.

The incubation period “time from infection to symptoms manifestation” is 2 months (varies from one to six months)

Hepatitis B is spread in one of several ways:

  1.  From an infected mother to child at birth (commonest transmission)
  2. Unprotected Sex, especially unvaccinated men with multiple sex partners
  3. Infected blood after injury, scratch or bites.

High-Risk Groups

  • Health care providers and emergency responders.
  • Sexually active individuals (those with more than 1 partner in the past six months).
  • Illicit drug users (injecting, pill-popping)
  • Sexual partners or those living in close household contact with an infected person.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Kidney dialysis patients and those in early kidney failure
  • Inmates and Prison staff
  • Staff and residents of facilities for developmentally disabled persons.

The Hepatitis B virus is not spread through:

  • food or water (unlike Hepatitis A)
  • Sharing eating utensils
  • A cough or sneezing
  • Hugging and holding hands
  • Breastfeeding

SYMPTOMS, Acute Hepatitis

The incubation period ranges from 1-6 months, the average is 2 months. Acute means short-lived and hepatitis will go away on its own.

Most infected persons do not exhibit any symptoms. Others exhibit the following symptoms

  • Bodily aches
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
  • (It is the Jaundice which draws attention to a possible HBV infection). Jaundice occurs when the injured liver, fails to remove bilirubin from the body
  • Acute liver failure, (occasionally)

Acute hepatitis resolves with the clearance of HBsAg within 6 months


From a simple blood test, one could know if they are,

  •  Infected (positive HBsAg)
  •  Protected (positive HBsAb)
  •  At Risk (negative HBsAg, HBsAb). Never got an infection or vaccination. Requires vaccination


Chronic infection is characterized by the persistence of HBsAg for at least 6 months.

The age at which one gets infected with HBV determines chronicity of the infection

90% of children infected during their first year of life, develop chronic HBV infection.

The rate decreases with age at infection.

Less than 5% of adults who get infected, develop chronic HBV infection.

The persistence of HBsAg is the primary marker for the risk of developing chronic liver disease and liver cancer. Most young people in Ghana acquired the infection from their childbirth and early childhood. The prevalence of chronic HBV is higher in rural areas.


Most people with chronic Hepatitis B have no symptoms and feel well. They may already have liver damage and they are infectious. Left untreated, 1 in 4 people with chronic Hepatitis B develop liver problems including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

If you would like to be vigorous in your old age, avoid getting HBV infection.

Some of the HBV related complications include:

  • Liver scarring (Fibrosis) due to recurrent viral injury.
  • Liver cirrhosis, that is extensive liver fibrosis
  • Cancer of liver cells (Hepatocellular carcinoma)
  • Liver failure
  • Chronic kidney disease (glomerulonephritis)


HBV related deaths include deaths from liver cancer, cirrhosis and liver failure.

In Ghana, the annual mortality rate of 1.7/100,000.  This means close to 500 people die every year from HBV related deaths in Ghana. This rate is one of highest in the world.


The Acute infection goes away on its own, and may not require treatment. However, severe cases may require hospitalization and antiviral medication.

Chronic HBV infection:

Take care of yourself first. Eat a healthy diet, full of fruits and vegetables Exercise regularly and get adequate sleep

Take care of your liver:

  • Do not drink Alcohol
  • Do not take paracetamol

Get tested for HIV, Hepatitis A &C and get vaccinated for Hepatitis A


Safer sex: No condom no sex

Encourage all sexual partners to get tested to know their status, in order not to infect others

Do not share personal items: razor blades, toothbrush, needles and syringes, all of which may be contaminated with infected blood

Antiviral medications may help fight the virus and slow the viral ability to damage the liver.

Indication for Antiviral Treatment

Those with acute liver failure

Chronic HBV infection + elevated transaminases, and Viral DNA count greater than 1000 iu/ml

Those receiving immuno-suppressant medication

The goal of antiviral therapy is to reduce the amount of the virus in your body and to reduce the risk of liver cancer and liver failure.

Antiviral treatment is lifelong.


Antivirals suppress HBV. Oral tablets are taken once daily

  • Tenofovir or
  • Entecavir


Interferon alfa –2b. Injections, for young people who do not want indefinite antiviral oral medications


This option is for those with a severely damaged liver.


Hepatitis B vaccine has been the backbone of hepatitis B prevention.

The vaccine is given in a 3-shot series at 1, 2 and 6 months. Get all 3 shots for effective protection.

The complete vaccine series induces immunity in more than 95% of those vaccinated.

Protection lasts for 20 years or more.

Who Needs HBV vaccine?

All kids younger than 18 years old, who have not had the vaccine

All those in the high risk, group.

Vaccination against HBV is the best way to decrease the disease prevalence.

By Dr Alex K Sarkodie




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Risk Factors of Cervical Cancer 0

Today, we are going to discuss some of the risk factors of cervical cancer. They are many that it will not be possible for us to exhaust all of them, but let us see how far we can go today.

1) HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS INFECTION (HPV): This is the most important of all the risk factors associated with the cancer of the cervix. Doctors believe that before a woman can develop cervical cancer, she must have been infected by HPV. Some types of this HPV are classified as “high risk” because they are the main causes of cervical cancer. These types include HPV 6, HPV 18, HPV 31, HPV 35, and HPV 45 and many other. About two-thirds of all cervical cancers are caused by HPV 16-18.

2) Smoking: Women who smoke are more likely to get cervical cancer than women who don’t smoke. Smoking exposes the body to many cancer-causing chemicals that affect not only the lungs but other parts of the body. The lungs will, first of all, absorb these harmful substances, and later transfer it into the bloodstream throughout the body. The by-products of tobacco have been found in the cervical mucus of women who smoke. These substances damage the DNA of the cervix cells and may equally lead to the development of cervical cancer.

3) IMMUNOSUPPRESSION: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS. This virus damages the immune system of the body completely and makes women be more at risk for HPV infection. This is one of the causes of an increased risk of cervical cancer in women with AIDS. The immune system is very important in destroying cancer cells, and slowing down their growth and spread. A cervical pre-cancer is likely to develop into invasive cancer faster in women with HIV.

4) CHLAMYDIA INFECTION: This is a very common bacterium that can infect the reproductive system. The spread is mainly through sexual contact. Women whose blood tests show past or present Chlamydia infection are at a higher risk of cervical cancer, as against women with normal test results. This type of infection often shows no symptoms in women. Unless a woman goes for the examination of her pelvic region, she may not know that she is infected with Chlamydia. When this stays long in the body, it leads to pelvic inflammation, which also leads to infertility.

5) DIETS: Diets low in fruits and vegetables can increase the risk of cervical cancer. Also, overweight can equally lead to cervical cancer.

6) BIRTH CONTROL PILLS: The usage of birth control pills for a long time increases the risk of cervical cancer in women. The longer these pills are used, the risk goes up and goes down after it is stopped.

7) MULTIPLE PREGNANCIES: Women with many full-time pregnancies have an increased risk of the cancer of the cervix. This may be because some of these women may have been exposed to unprotected sexual acts which have therefore exposed them to HPV infection. This is because the immune system of the pregnant woman is weak, which allows for HPV infection/ cancer growth.

8) LOW SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS: Many women with low income don’t have access to adequate health care services, including pap tests, and the implication of this is that they will not be screened or treated for pre-cancerous cervical diseases.

9) FAMILY HISTORY: Cervical cancer runs in some families. If your mother or sister has cervical cancer, your risk of developing this disease is higher. Women from the same family as a patient already diagnosed of cervical cancer may be more likely to have one or more of the other non-genetic risk factors previously described in this section.

I will love to hear what are your own views or opinions on this post


30 Things You Need to Know About Herpes 0

1. Genital herpes is caused by two forms of the herpes simplex viruses: HSV-1 or HSV-2.
2. Most oral herpes is caused by HSV-1, and most genital herpes is caused by HSV-2.
3. Most people do not show signs or symptoms from HSV-1 or HSV-2 infection.
4. At least 45 million people ages 12 and older, or 20% of U. S. adolescents and adults, have had genital herpes.
5. Genital HSV-2 infection is more common in women (approximately one out of four women) than in men (almost one out of eight).
6. Both herpes Type 1 and 2 can be transmitted by contact with the sores that the herpes viruses cause, but also between outbreaks (sometimes called OBs) via “shedding” from skin that does not have a sore on it. 
7. Herpes transmission frequently occurs from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore, and may not even know that he or she is infected with the virus.
8. Genital OBs of HSV-1 recur less frequently than genital outbreaks caused by HSV-2.
9. First symptoms of genital herpes, they can be quite intense. Subsequent OBs are milder. Symptoms can include:
10. A small area of redness, sometimes with raised bumps or fluid-filled blisters;
11. Itching, burning or tingling in the genital area;
12. Flu-like symptoms (a headache, swollen glands, fever);
13. Painful urination and/or discharge.
14. Initial herpes outbreak usually occurs within two weeks after the virus is transmitted, and the sores usually heal within two to four weeks.
15. Sometimes, a person does not become aware of the infection until years after it is acquired.
16. Do not squeeze OB blisters because that may cause infection to spread.
17. Genital herpes infection can be more severe in people with immune systems depressed due to other causes.

  1. Genital herpes can cause psychological distress in people who know they are infected, due particularly to the attached social stigma.

    19. Any area in the groin can be affected by genital herpes.

    20. Herpes is not the only infection that causes genital sores. Bacterial infections have also been known to cause sores that resemble herpes sores. So, it’s best to get tested.
    21. Genital herpes can lead to potentially fatal infections in babies.
    22. Genital herpes can sometimes be diagnosed by visual inspection of the outbreak, or by taking an actual sample from a sore.
    23. The only sure way to avoid getting herpes and other STDs is abstinence, or a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship with someone who is not infected.
    24. If you inform your partner of your herpes, you can discuss it instead of making excuses as to why you don’t want to have sex.
    25. Genital herpes caused by HSV-2 carries an 80-90% chance of OBs.
    26. Genital herpes caused by HSV-1 carries a 50% chance of OBs.
    27. OB sores can occur in areas that are not covered by a latex condom, so condoms are not fool-proof in protecting from contracting genital herpes.
    28. Even if a person does not have any symptoms he or she can still infect sex partners.
    29. You can’t get herpes from swimming pools, towels or toilet seats.
    30. Frequency and severity of herpes OBs vary between individuals.

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