World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day ~ July 28th, 2013

This is Hepatitis – Know it. Confront it.

July 28, 2013 marks this year’s World Hepatitis Day. Created by the World Health Assembly in 2010, this day aims to recognize the importance of prevention of infection from viral hepatitis, one of the leading causes of death by infectious disease on the planet.

1

Photo: http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org

Every year, approximately 1.4 million people suffer and perish from viral hepatitis and other associated illnesses. Both Hepatitis B and A are leading causes of preventable death, followed closely by Hepatitis E, which is particularly potent in Asia and Africa. An important implication of HBV and HEV is the transmission of disease from mother to child in utero; in impoverished nations, opportunities for these vaccinations are often missed, resulting in more unnecessary and preventable deaths.

Hepatitis encompasses a class of viral infections that cause the liver to swell and become inflamed, thus affecting the liver’s efficacy and functioning. Without detection and treatment, this disease can have serious implications, such as liver cancer or cirrhosis. Because some people afflicted with hepatitis exhibit no symptoms, it can be tremendously difficult to diagnose. Fortunately for others, there are signs indicative of liver problems and hepatitis infection:

  • No appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark-hued urine
  • Pale excrement
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice

Some forms of hepatitis are preventable with vaccinations, some forms must be treated with medication, and other forms are chronic. On some occasions, hepatitis will regress and go away by itself.

Every year on World Hepatitis Day, the World Hepatitis Alliance (found at http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org) seeks to raise international awareness of hepatitis and ignite changes in inadequate disease prevention measures and accessibility to testing and treatment. This year’s WHD theme is “This is Hepatitis – Know it. Confront it,” and focuses on the real-world impact of hepatitis. A second theme involves the unfortunate tendency for hepatitis to be ignored: “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil,” which aims to draw attention to change.

2Photo: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hepatita-C-Forum/232282980165281

 

Do your part on July 28th to combat the detection and prevention of hepatitis.

×          Get vaccinated against hepatitis

×          Follow the World Hepatitis Alliance on Twitter: @Hep_Alliance

×          Become a member or donate to the World Hepatitis Alliance

×          Host your own WHD campaign (find materials at http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/en/campaign-materials.html)

×          Tell your story (www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/en/share-your-story.html)

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6229a1.htm?s_cid=mm6229a1_e

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hepatitis.html

http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/en/who-what-where-when-and-how.html

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