Every year on July 28th, we commemorate World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness of viral hepatitis and promote prevention and treatment. Hepatitis, caused by different viruses, includes Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C as the most common types. In this blog post, we will know about the symptoms of hepatitis and provide essential prevention tips to safeguard your health.
Theme: ‘One Life, One Liver’ is the theme of World Hepatitis Day this year.
We only have one life, and we only have one liver. “Hepatitis can devastate both,” according to a WHO press statement.
According to WHO, this year’s World Hepatitis Day, with the theme “One Life, One Liver,” will highlight the importance of the liver for a healthy life, as well as the need to scale up viral hepatitis prevention, testing and treatment to optimize liver health, prevent liver disease, and achieve the 2030 hepatitis elimination goals.
Understanding Hepatitis and Its Types:
Hepatitis is a medical condition characterized by liver inflammation. Virus infections (Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E), alcohol addiction, certain drugs, toxins, and autoimmune illnesses are also potential causes. The viral types (A, B, C, D, and E) are the most common and can range from mild, acute illnesses to chronic, severe conditions that may lead to long-term liver damage or liver cancer. Symptoms of hepatitis include fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), abdominal pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. Hepatitis is a significant global health concern, and prevention, early detection, and appropriate medical management are essential to reducing its impact on public health. Vaccines are available for Hepatitis A and B, effectively protecting against these viral infections.
Common Symptoms of Hepatitis:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dark urine and pale stools
Prevention Tips for Hepatitis:
- Get Vaccinated: The most effective strategy to prevent Hepatitis A and B is vaccination. Make sure to complete the recommended doses for lifelong protection.
- Practice Safe Hygiene: To avoid the spread of Hepatitis A and E, practise good hand hygiene, especially before eating and after using the restroom.
- Use Protection during Intercourse: Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted through unprotected sex. Always use condoms to reduce the risk of infection.
- Avoid Sharing Personal Items: Refrain from sharing items like razors, toothbrushes, or needles, as they can be potential sources of Hepatitis C transmission.
- Practice Safe Tattooing and Piercing: If you opt for tattoos or body piercings, ensure that the equipment is sterile and one-time use to prevent Hepatitis B and C.
- Be Cautious with Blood Transfusions: In areas where Hepatitis B and C are prevalent, ensure blood transfusions and organ transplants come from tested and safe sources.
- Choose Safe Injection Practices: If you need regular injections or medical treatments, make sure to use sterile equipment and avoid sharing it with others.
- Get Tested: Regular screening is essential, especially if you are predisposed to Hepatitis B and C. Early detection can improve treatment outcomes.
Conclusion: On World Hepatitis Day 2023, it’s a perfect chance to educate ourselves and others about the symptoms, risks, and prevention of viral hepatitis. By collectively adopting preventive measures, getting vaccinated, we can protect ourselves and our communities, ultimately reducing the burden of this preventable disease. Let’s unite and work towards a hepatitis-free world, ensuring a healthier future for all.