March 18, 2013
Communicable Disease/Hepatitis B
The communicable disease I have chosen for this paper is Hepatitis. Hepatitis B is a liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). This virus can cause infections that can last a life time. These infections include cirrhosis of the liver (scarring), liver cancer, liver failure, and ultimately death. Hepatitis B is highly contagious and this disease affects one out of every twenty people in the United States. According to the website www.health.ny.gov, one out of 20 people will become infected with HBV at some point in their lives. This disease does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation, or gender. Your risks for becoming infected with HBV is greater if you have been having sexual intercourse with someone who is infected with HBV, have more than one sexual partner, are an man having sex with another man, have ever had an STD (sexual transmitted disease), or use intravenous needles for drug use. Some health care and public safety workers are also at risk and children born to an HBV infected mother. You are also at risk if you are a dialysis patient. Some of the ways to control the spread of hepatitis B is by education, screening, testing those that are a higher risk such as infants and pregnant women, and new ways to diagnose hepatitis. The treatment for hepatitis B has no special medicines or antibiotics that are used to treat someone who is infected with this disease. According to health.ny.gov, getting plenty of rest is all the treatment a person needs. Interferon (a protein produced by cells that work against viral infections) has been very effective for chronic HBV infection. Interferon has been a success in twenty five to fifty percent of reported HBV cases. In an effort to control the spread of hepatitis B, a vaccine that is safe and effective is now available for those who are...
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