After cases of hepatitis in MG, the government reinforces the vaccination campaign – Gerais

MG has high rates of hepatitis A, B and C cases (photo: Publicity/SES-MG)

Minas Gerais recorded last week four suspected cases of acute childhood hepatitis, which mainly affects children under 2 years of age. Across the country, 28 cases are being investigated by researchers and experts.

For this reason, the State Health Department (SES-MG) warns minors to keep their vaccination record updated with the doses, which is the safest way and the main tool for prevention and control. of the disease.

In 2021, there were 38 cases of hepatitis A, 706 cases of type B, and 831 cases of hepatitis C in the state. In 2020, there were 28 type A cases, 576 type B cases and 831 type C cases.

Hepatitis is an infectious disease that causes an inflammatory process in the liver and can lead to death. In Minas, last year, 124 deaths were recorded due to the disease. In 2020, there were 119 bits. Inflammation can be secondary to several factors, including viral infections.

The disease has a variety of symptoms, the most common being fever, weakness, malaise, abdominal pain and discomfort, as well as nausea, dark urine, loss of appetite, yellow eyes and skin (jaundice ) and whitish stools.

differences

Hepatitis A is an acute communicable disease caused by the HAV virus which usually has no symptoms in the initial phase. The person exposed to this virus acquires immunity, that is to say, they do not have a new infection. However, the disease can be fulminant in less than 1% of cases. Faecal-oral transmission is often associated with poor basic sanitation, water, personal hygiene and contaminated food.

Hepatitis B is incurable and is classified as a sexually transmitted infection. Type C hepatitis, on the other hand, can manifest itself in an acute or chronic form and is transmitted by contact with contaminated blood, by sharing needles, syringes and manicure equipment.

vaccines

Vaccines for hepatitis types A and B are offered by the SUS and are available at health centers across the state, as SES-MG National Immunization Program Coordinator Josianne Gusmo pointed out.

“Vaccination against hepatitis B is available for the entire population, regardless of age group. Hepatitis A is available for children 15 months to 4 years, 11 months and 29 days. After having received, in the recommended manner, the entire vaccination schedule, the person is immunized for the rest of his life”, he specifies.

In 2021, type B virus coverage was 68.55% in children under 30 days old and 75.95% in children under one year old. Coverage against type A diseases was 76.46%. The ideal coverage target recommended by the National Vaccination Program (PNI) of the Ministry of Health is 95%.

There is no vaccine for type C, but there is a treatment, which is also made available by the SUS and prevents complications. Medicines are free and can be picked up at the 73 Specialized Care Services (SAE) and Medicines Distribution Units (UDM) in Minas Gerais, quickly and safely.

diagnostic

According to Mayara Marques de Almeida, sexually transmitted infections/AIDS and viral hepatitis coordinator at the SES-MG secretariat, the difference between types B and C is essentially the form of transmission.

“Without showing symptoms, the disease progresses without timely diagnosis and treatment. This progression of infection can lead to liver transplantation, causing advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis, which can lead to the development of cancer. In some cases, it can lead to death,” he explains.

In all cases, rapid detection and prompt treatment are important. If the person has been diagnosed with Hepatitis B or C, the advice is to seek out a basic health unit and know where to get the drugs.

Diagnosis for the detection of infection by viruses B or C is carried out using rapid tests, available at the SUS. “The availability of a rapid test has expanded the diagnosis of viral hepatitis, supporting treatment with results that reduce morbidity and mortality. Regarding treatment, access to safe drugs with low side effects reduces the transmissibility of the disease”, assesses Mayara Marques Almeida.

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