Post image for World Hepatitis Day – May 19th

World Hepatitis Day – May 19th

by Carolina on May 19, 2010

During the month of May, CDC and other public health partners are celebrating the 15th anniversary of National Hepatitis Awareness Month and, on May 19th, World Hepatitis Day. World Hepatitis Day emphasizes the importance of testing for people who are at high risk, and is especially critical for those who have chronic viral hepatitis but who might not know they are infected.

A person with viral hepatitis has inflammation of the liver, caused by a viral infection. Symptoms of viral hepatitis include nausea, vomiting, upper abdominal pain, fever, body aches, fatigue, jaundice, and brown urine. The treatment for viral hepatitis depends on which virus is causing the infection. Treatment for viral hepatitis may include a liver disease diet and antiviral medications, or a liver transplant.

An estimated 4.5 million Americans have chronic Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, which together account for the major cause of chronic liver disease and liver cancer. Viral hepatitis is a major public health problem and needs to be firmly on the global healthcare agenda.

Unlike other diseases, awareness of viral hepatitis (HBV and HCV) remains inexplicably low. Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance, said that with 1.5 million people dying every year, chronic viral hepatitis could no longer be ignored. HBV and HCV should have the same profile as HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB.

Public awareness is a critical factor in the prevention, detection and management of this disease. Therefore, it is crucial to increase awareness about the large burden of disease and premature death associated with viral hepatitis on the part of the health-care and social-service providers, and among at-risk populations, members of the public and policy-makers. Getting tested is key to halting these deadly diseases. A simple blood test will tell you if you have the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV).If you think you are at risk, it is time to get tested.

For more information about viral hepatitis you can visit CDC and WHO websites.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

nobody dont June 11, 2010 at 5:36 am

Tell Republicans we cant afford to go back.Polls show public opinion remains mixed on the law, which was approved after a divisive year-long fight in Congress. While majorities of Americans still oppose it, some polls show attitudes have improved and most say they do not favor the quick repeal pushed by Republicans.

Burak December 3, 2015 at 3:28 pm

If neither you nor the other peosrn your sharing with have any blood born infection, you will not get any infection. But Hep C is transmitted by bodily fluids, along with a great number of other nasty diseases (like Aids for example). When you inject yourself in a vein, a little blood is sucked back up into the syringe. When the next peosrn injects him/herself, they inject that tiny bit of blood into themselves. It’s kind of like backwash in a glass. You take a drink, and a little bit of saliva mixed with the drink goes back in the cup. Someone else takes a drink, and they get a little bit of your saliva. Thankfully, not many dangerous diseases are spread by saliva, but a lot of bad ones are spread through blood. Any infection in the blood then enters their body, directly through the veins, and has a far greater chance of taking hold. So yes, if both people were clean, no disease will magically appear on a new sterile needle because they shared. But keep this in mind, most junkies aren’t exactly upstanding clean people. You really think they are going to tell you they have a disease when they are willing to risk getting one from you by sharing needles? Do you think most would even know? It’s just a bad call to share needles.

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