Kamis, 19 Juni 2008

Hepatitis during Pregnancy II

In the previuos article (Hepatitis During Pregnancy I) We have already discussed about basic definition of hepatitis and how if hepatitis happen during pregnancy. In this article We will discuss about how to prevent transmission to the baby and how to prevent hepatitis infection.

How to prevent transmission to the baby

As the baby who gets the hepatitis B or C infection have more risk to develop chronic hepatitis with its complications, it is important to prevent –or at least to reduce the risk of– transmission from the mother. Until now, only the hepatitis B infection that already has immunization to prevent the transmission. When a pregnant mother was known having hepatitis B infection, usually the test for HBsAg was positive, as soon as possible (usually not more than 12 hour) after delivery the baby should get the hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) injection, and before leaving the hospital should get the first shot of hepatitis B vaccination. The hepatitis B vaccination should be continued for 2nd shot on one month, and 3rd shot on six months later. This procedure will reduce the risk of transmission for less than 3 percent. Unfortunately for the hepatitis C infection we could not doing this kind like of procedure, because the effective hepatitis C vaccination is not discovered yet. The risks for transmission of hepatitis B or C were not different due to the ways of delivery, either normal delivery or sectio-caesarean.

How to prevent the hepatitis infection

We already discussed how to prevent the transmission of hepatitis to the baby from the infected mother. Now we will discuss about how to prevent the hepatitis infection, including in pregnant woman.

It is important to know the risk factors of transmission in order to prevent the viral hepatitis infection. It was mentioned those two ways that important for viral hepatitis transmission: food/drink and body fluid. Hepatitis A and E virus were transmitted by contaminated food or drink, so keeping the personal and environmental hygiene was the most effective way for prevention. Whilst the hepatitis B, C, and virus were transmitted by body fluid, such as contaminated needle injection or blood transfusion, or having sexual intercourse with someone who have the hepatitis.

Immunization is another effective way for preventing the infection. Until now, only hepatitis A and B that already have the vaccines for prevent the transmission/infection of hepatitis. Hepatitis B vaccination now already declared as one of the national program of immunization, whilst the hepatitis A is still as an additional vaccination. People who never got the hepatitis B vaccination before and now suspected just having the risk of infection (such as injected by contaminated needle or have sexual intercourse with infected person) can gets the shot that called hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) for rapid protection. The HBIG can also give in pregnant woman.

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