Hepatitisis a viral infection that causes inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis causesaround 171 000 deaths every year in Europe. There are five types of viralhepatitis (A, B, C, D, and E). HepatitisA and E are mainly caused by contaminated food and water while hepatitis B, C,and D are transmitted through infected blood and body fluids.
Symptoms ofhepatitis include jaundice, abdominal pain, dark colored urine, nausea,fatigue, and vomiting. However, hepatitis is considered asymptomatic in mostcases and that what makes it a silent killer, which would make it hard to beidentified without the proper testing. Such thing, made hepatitis to be theseventh leading cause of death in the world (Gottfried Hirnschall, 2015; WHO,n. d.).
According to the World Health Organization European Region, chronichepatitis B affects around 13.3 million people and hepatitis C affects 15million people worldwide per year. In WHO Europe region, there are 36 000 and 86 000 deaths per year thatare caused by hepatitis B and C respectively (WHO,2017). Hepatitis A still considered to be a major health issuethat is needed to be tracked because in middle and low income countries hepatitisA infects thousands of individuals and causes death for hundreds yearly mostlyamong elderly people and children. Since 1990, the incidence of hepatitis A hasdecreased in most of the countries.
Furthermore, Europe faces a high burden ofhepatitis B, particularly among old age group. The risk group for hepatitis Bis multiple sexual people, homosexual male, injection drugs user and healthcare workers. In addition, 70% – 90% of newborns are infected if the mother isinfected too which make them at high risk of morbidity and mortality (WHO,2016). The main focus of this paper will be on hepatitis B amonghealth care workers, due to the seriousness of this problem which requires animmediate attention. Health care workers provide care to the society andtherefore, should be infections-free because if not, they might be a source ofinfection due to their close contact with patients. The paper will provide somealternative solutions to the issue of hepatitis B among health care workers.