START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

World Hepatitis Day: ‘It’s Closer Than You Think’ (video)

One million people die every year from it…and it’s closer than you think.

Saturday, July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. Not very exciting…but very important. That’s because one million people die every year from chronic viral hepatitis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Around the world, around 350 million people have chronic hepatitis B and 170 million have chronic hepatitis C. Because symptoms aren’t always obvious, you can have chronic hepatitis and not even know it.

“It’s closer than you think” is the theme of this year’s World Hepatitis Day:

(Video by World Hepatitis Alliance)

About Hepatitis
The hepatitis virus can cause inflammation of the liver, and chronic viral hepatitis can result in cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. Hepatitis is a stealth fighter, damaging your liver without causing symptoms. You be infected with viral hepatitis for decades without feeling ill. When you put hepatitis B and hepatitis C together, you’ve got the reason for about 80 percent of liver cancer cases around the world. There are about 4.4 million Americans living with chronic hepatitis.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are:

  • 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A each year
  • an estimated 2 billion people worldwide who have been infected with hepatitis B
  • 150 million people worldwide chronically infected with hepatitis C

Hepatitis A can be found in the feces of infected people, and is spread through contaminated food and water, and sometimes through sexual activity. People who live in countries with poor sanitation are particularly vulnerable. Infections are usually mild and most people make a complete recovery. In some cases, hepatitis A can be life-threatening. There is a hepatitis A vaccine.

Hepatitis B is passed through infected body fluids like blood and semen, contaminated medical products or blood products used in transfusions, accidental needle sticks (for health care workers), and injection drug use. It can also be transmitted from infected mothers to infants during birth. There is a hepatitis B vaccine and rates of new infection have decreased in some areas of the world.

Hepatitis C is mainly transmitted through exposure to infected blood. This can happen during blood transfusions or from contaminated needles. Less commonly, it is transmitted through sexual activity. There is no hepatitis C vaccine, but a rapid test and new treatments are reducing treatment time and increasing the number of people who eventually clear the virus.

Hepatitis D only happens to people who are infected with hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E is generally transmitted through contaminated water and food. You are more likely to contract hepatitis E if you live in or visit developing countries that have poor sanitation. There is a vaccine for hepatitis E, but it is not widely available.

Symptoms include yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Early diagnosis and treatment offer the best outcome and help prevent spread of the disease.

WHO has established the Global Hepatitis Programme with the following goals:

  • reduce the transmission of agents that cause viral hepatitis
  • reduce the morbidity and mortality due to viral hepatitis through improving the care of patients with viral hepatitis
  • reduce the socio-economic impact of viral hepatitis at individual, community and population levels

More Information About Hepatitis
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
World Hepatitis Alliance

More Health News
Heat Wave Survival Tips
Germiest Places in Your Hotel Room
10 Beach Safety Tips

Read more: Family, General Health, Health, Health & Safety, Home, Life, News & Issues, Videos,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

20 comments

+ add your own
3:03PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

12:51PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Thank you for info.

12:49PM PDT on Aug 6, 2012

Thank you for info.

4:41AM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

noted

3:10AM PDT on Jul 26, 2012

The statistics are not encouraging. I didn't realize this was so widespread.

8:57PM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

Something else to worry about.

3:36PM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

noted.

12:31PM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

Thanks

2:19AM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

There is also the very real and repugnant discrimination by health organisations who should know damn better.

8:27PM PDT on Jul 24, 2012

thank you!

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

ASSINADO

We don't have them but I sure spent a lot of hours as a kid looking for them!

I learned some new options today, other I always done.

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.