World Hepatitis Day / Jou Epatit
Written by Dahla
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), viral hepatitis is the leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer worldwide. Approximately 1 in 12 persons, or around 500 million people, have chronic viral hepatitis and most of them do not know they are infected. Viral hepatitis is considered to be a major global health threat.
Do you know your Hepatitis status?
July 28th 2012 is an awareness day for all of you to educate yourselves about the prevention, screening, causes & symptoms, vaccines and treatments available for Hepatitis and its related diseases. Information is power! Please share the information with others.
Whether you are a sexually/non-sexually active individual, a healthcare professional, a regular individual, a pregnant or nursing woman, a constant traveler, an alcoholic, a needle user or drug addict, you ought to know about Hepatitis.
World Hepatitis Day was first launched in 2008 by the World Hepatitis Alliance that has been in the forefront along with other organizations, NGO’s and World Health Organization (WHO) to bring on thousands of educational tools about the disease to the public, healthcare professionals and media. According to the CDC, July 28th was selected as the date paralleled the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg (1925-2011) who discovered the Hepatitis B virus in 1967, and developed the first Hepatitis B vaccine two years later. Dr Blumberg has won the Nobel Prize for his achievements.
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis = Hepat (Liver) & Itis (Inflammation)
Hepatitis is a medical condition that causes inflammation of the liver, which is the largest solid organ in the body. The liver’s functions are essential to the body metabolism, storage, detoxification and regeneration abilities and more. Hepatitis can be either acute (lasting less than six months) or chronic (lasting more than six months). Most of liver cells damage is caused by the major types of hepatitis viruses known as Hepatitis A, B and C. However, Hepatitis can also be caused by other factors such as alcohol, toxins and infections leading to other types of hepatitis not usually known of.
Symptoms of hepatitis can include diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle or joint aches, vomiting, and much more.
What are the types of Hepatitis?
There are different types of Hepatitis: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D and Hepatitis E. Other types are autoimmune hepatitis, drug-induced hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis and more.
You can start a dialogue with your healthcare provider in educating yourselves about the different types of hepatitis with their causative factors. (Sources: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC); NYC-Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH); American Liver Foundation; MedicineNet.com)
Below is a diagram that depicts some of them. Click on the links shown for further details:
Below is a diagram that depicts the different liver diseases that can be caused by Hepatitis.
(Gallbladder is green).