10/19/2017

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World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day is an annual event held on July 28th to promote the awareness of hepatitis, an infection that causes inflammation of the liver. Infections can be cause by toxic agents, viruses, or certain medicines.

According to the World Hepatitis Alliance, around 500 million people are infected with chronic hepatitis B or C and at least 1 in 3 people have been exposed to one or both of the viruses.

Hepatitis is usually characterized as being viral (acute) or non-viral (chronic). Acute hepatitis comes on rapidly with severe symptoms and runs a short course. Chronic hepatitis comes on slowly and runs a longer course with few or no symptoms at all.

Symptoms of hepatitis include:

  • nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • abdominal pain and muscle aches
  • fever and fatigue
  • jaundice, itching, and hives
  • headaches and drowsiness

The acute phase of hepatitis is rarely serious or fatal, but if left untreated, the rapidly progressing form may lead to death.

The World Hepatitis Alliance, the World Health Organization, along with other organizations such as the United Nations, are working around the world to promote awareness about the dangers of Hepatitis and how exposure to it can be avoided.

World Hepatitis Day was started in 2008 by the World Hepatitis Alliance and in 2010, the United Nations officially recognized the event. By participating in World Hepatitis Day, organizations can influence changes in the way people live with hepatitis and the way it is prevented.

Each year, different themes like "Get Tested" are used to promote awareness and to draw attention to the disease. It influences how testing and treatments are administered and helps stop the spread of the disease.

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