- What is World Hepatitis Day?
- What is Viral Hepatitis?
- Why is the Liver Important?
- Different Causes of Hepatitis
- Symptoms of Hepatitis
- Final Thought
WHAT IS WORLD HEPATITIS DAY?
World Hepatitis Day is celebrated on July 28th every year. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 296 million people worldwide are living with hepatitis B, 58 million with hepatitis C, and 1.5 million have chronic hepatitis B. We commemorate this day to enhance awareness of hepatitis and how we can help. WHO is trying to work together with many countries to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by the year 2030.
WHAT IS VIRAL HEPATITIS?
Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver due to a virus. If the liver is inflamed, it can cause further damage and its functions can be affected. There are five different viral classifications of hepatitis: A, B, C, D, and E. They are all from different viruses and they are obtained differently. Some are short-term, while others can become chronic, especially if they are not detected in time. They can also lead to several liver diseases, including liver cancer which can be fatal.
WHY IS THE LIVER IMPORTANT?
The liver is one of the most important organs that we have. The liver processes blood that leaves the stomach and intestines to break down, balance, and create nutrients necessary for our bodies. It specifically removes toxins from our blood supply, regulates blood clotting, and maintains our bodies at a healthy blood sugar level. It also metabolizes drugs into forms that are easier for our bodies to use. Humans cannot live without a liver, so we have to make sure that we are taking all the precautions we can to keep it healthy.
DIFFERENT CAUSES OF HEPATITIS
There are different causes of hepatitis, such as heavy alcohol use, medications, medical conditions, etc. However, it is more often caused by viruses. There are 5 types of different viruses that cause hepatitis and they are all transmitted differently.
Hepatitis A and E are usually spread through contaminated water and food. Usually, if a person’s stool enters a water source or food source and others consume it, they will contract hepatitis. It can also spread if you eat undercooked pork, deer, or shellfish.
Hepatitis B, C, and D can spread through contact with an infected person’s blood. Hepatitis B and D can also be spread through other bodily fluids such as using unsanitary needles or having unprotected sex.
Depending on the type of hepatitis you contract, it affects people differently. Hepatitis A and E are usually acute and short-term viruses. Hepatitis D is rare because the person would need to have the hepatitis B virus already in order to contract it. Hepatitis B, C, and D viruses can cause acute and chronic, or long-lasting, infections. If left untreated, this can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and even liver cancer. However, hepatitis can affect everyone differently.
SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS
There are different symptoms you could have that indicate hepatitis. If you have any of the following, check with your doctor immediately.
On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, we call on people to take action and raise awareness of hepatitis because Hepatitis Can’t Wait. Everyone should have a chance to be vaccinated. Vaccines are proven to stop the spread of diseases, and lessen the health risks. Are you vaccinated against hepatitis? Was this article informative in raising your awareness regarding Hepatitis?