Hepatitis remains a global problem
Hot on the heals of World Hepatitis Day, which was July 28,2013, hepatitis remains a global problem. Viral hepatitis is a disease for both developed and developing countries that causes an estimated 1-3 million deaths globally and can often- well, be prevented! This disease can cause unnecessary suffering. Viral hepatitis is a group of five unrelated viruses (A, B, C, D and E) that can cause both acute and chronic infections, some of which do not cause symptoms and can lay dormant for decades before people learn they are infected. Like some heart diseases, viral hepatitis can be a “silent killer.” Symptoms can later show up and lead to chronic liver disease and even liver cancer long after exposure.
Vaccines are available for Hepatitis A and B. Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B is treatable. Common symptoms of hepatitis infections include nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, jaundice, abdominal pain and dark urine. Transmission of the virus varies as to the virus type. Diagnosis is made through blood tests that can identify the virus. Many acute viral hepatitis infections resolve spontaneously. However, chronic hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis and death. Treatment involves symptom management, drug treatment and in extreme cases, liver transplant.
This segment of The Doctors Roundtable will feature Dr. Enrique Martinez, a highly acclaimed hepatologist based in Atlanta, who will discuss the basic information around Hepatitis A, B and C as well as at risk populations and exciting new drug therapies on the horizon. Listeners may also visit the following online websites for additional resources: www.atlantagastro.com, www.cdc.gov/hepatitis and www.hepatitisfoundation.org.
Dr. Enrique J. Martinez
- MD training at University of So. FLA
- Internship, residency and fellowship in IM at USF
- Board-certified in IM and Gastro
- Advanced training at University of Miami in Hepatology and Liver Transplantation
- Widely published in text and peer review journals, a noted lecturer in liver disease
- Now practicing with Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates and based at Emory in the midtown location of ATL