World Hepatitis Day!
28th July is World Hepatitis Day! What lessons do you get? Do you know anything about Hepatitis?
CDC asks us to learn more about the different types of viral hepatitis that impact millions worldwide and what is being done to help eliminate hepatitis.
Viral hepatitis — a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E — affects millions of people worldwide, causing both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) liver disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) data show an estimated 325 million people worldwide are living with chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C. Viral hepatitis caused 1.34 million deaths in 2015, a number comparable to deaths caused by tuberculosis and HIV combined. While deaths from tuberculosis and HIV have been declining, deaths from hepatitis are increasing.
World Hepatitis Day is July 28 th and is an opportunity to learn the global burden of this disease, CDC’s efforts to combat viral hepatitis around the world, and actions individuals can take.
Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis. These include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol. Autoimmune hepatitis is a disease that occurs when your body makes antibodies against your liver tissue.
Tips to prevent hepatitis
Practicing good hygiene is one key way to avoid contracting hepatitis A and E. If you’re traveling to a developing country, you should avoid:
- local water
- raw or undercooked shellfish and oysters
- raw fruit and vegetables
Hepatitis B, C, and D contracted through contaminated blood can be prevented by:
- not sharing drug needles
- not sharing razors
- not using someone else’s toothbrush
- not touching spilled blood
Hepatitis B and C can also be contracted through sexual intercourse and intimate sexual contact. Practicing safe sex by using condoms and dental dams can help decrease the risk of infection.
The use of vaccines is an important key to preventing hepatitis. Vaccinations are available to prevent the development of hepatitis A and B. Experts are currently developing vaccines against hepatitis C. A vaccination for hepatitis E exists in China, but it isn’t available in the United States.