Hepatitis B and Epidemiology
Hepatitis is a disease related to inflammation of the liver caused by microorganisms. The inflammation that occurs can stand alone and can also be a development of a systemic infection so that the main target of this inflammation is the liver. One of them is the hepatitis B virus which can cause the development of hepatitis B, even though you have had some immunization for the prevention of hepatitis A and hepatitis B, however, several cases in the world including in Indonesia still find the development of hepatitis B which causes cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Clinical symptoms of hepatitis B virus infection
Part of it is difficult to determine whether an individual is infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or just normal symptoms. This is associated with a wide variety of clinical symptoms and symptoms that are difficult to distinguish. One of them is the appearance of mild symptoms such as nausea and weakness, while for more severe symptoms, it is marked by jaundice. Chronic hepatitis B is characterized by the development of the hepatitis B virus for more than 6 months in the patient’s body. Ironically, 90% of chronic hepatitis B occurs in infants infected with the mother at birth.
Is it true that breast milk can transmit hepatitis B?
In general, the hepatitis B virus will be transmitted through the outer surface layer of the body such as wounds on the skin or mucosal layer wounds. Meanwhile, based on transmission, it is broadly divided into two, namely vertical and horizontal. Vertical transmission is from mother to baby, while for horizontal transmission from child to child. Meanwhile, the number of hepatitis B virus concentrations starts with the highest order, namely blood, female fluids, saliva and breast milk. Hepatitis B can infect through the blood so that the delivery of the mother is one of the triggers for this virus to spread to the baby. Breast milk is indeed one of the tools for the spread of the hepatitis B virus considering that it is closely related to the interactions that occur between mother and baby health through breast milk, but research on breastfeeding associated with hepatitis B conducted in the world states that breast milk does not increase hepatitis B. This is based on research conducted by dividing two groups, namely the first group of mothers carrying the hepatitis B virus gave breast milk while the second group gave formula milk. The result is that breast milk is not proven to increase the risk of hepatitis B transmission. That way for you there is no reason to give it Breast milk in babies.
How is hepatitis B prevented in infants?
In order to prevent transmission from mothers with hepatitis B to infants and also horizontal transmission, it is advisable to give vaccinations, namely the first hepatitis B vaccine after birth, followed by the second and third administration according to schedule. In addition to vaccines, if needed, immunoglobulins or antibodies will be given. So that mothers who suffer from hepatitis B can give breast milk to their babies, of course, by giving hepatitis B vaccination first after the baby is born. In addition, prevention of injury to the nipple is highly recommended to minimize the possibility of transmission.