July 28 is observed every year globally as World Hepatitis Day.
The 2021 theme is ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait’.
Hepatitis or viral Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver which causes a series of health problems, including liver cancer, and can also lead to death.
These viruses replicate (multiply) primarily in the liver cells causing the liver to be unable to perform its functions.
Symptoms usually include fever, fatigue, and body aches, dark urine, muscle pain, loss of appetite, light-colored stools, nausea, and vomiting.
Here are some facts to know about the disease.
1.Hepatitis is the biggest cause of liver cancer in the world.
2. There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus A, B, C, D, and E.
3. Hepatitis B and C combined are the most common causes of liver cancer with 1.3 million lives lost each year.
4. 90% of people living with hepatitis do not know they are infected as symptoms of the disease are hard to detect as there may be no symptoms at all sometimes particularly when it comes to hepatitis C.
5. Hepatitis A and E are mostly caused by the intake of contaminated food and water while Hepatitis B occurs after coming in contact with infected blood and Hepatitis C is caused by body fluids. Hepatitis D can only be contracted if the patient has already had hepatitis B.
6. Hepatitis B is treatable and 95% of people with hepatitis C can be completely cured within 2-3 months using antiviral medicines.
7. Consuming alcohol definitely makes the scarring of the liver worse and progress faster in both Hepatitis B and C.
8. People who already have chronic hepatitis B are at risk of becoming infected with a second virus, hepatitis D, also called delta hepatitis.
9. The most common cause of hepatitis B transmission globally is mother to the infant so pregnant women should be screened for the virus when they receive prenatal care.
10. People in their thirties are more likely to have undiagnosed hepatitis B compared to any other age group, while those aged between 45 and 60 are the highest risk group for being unaware they have hepatitis C
11. There are vaccines available for hepatitis A and hepatitis B but no effective vaccine against hepatitis C has been made till now.
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