World Hepatitis Day: Learn More About the Risks
Today is World Hepatitis Day – a day dedicated to raising global awareness of hepatitis. Many people associate the disease with injecting drug users, but it can actually affect anyone. Do you know the facts about hepatitis and how to prevent it?
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, caused by a viral infection. There are five different types of the disease – hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Some types will pass without causing permanent harm to the liver, and others will cause more serious damage and can even be fatal.
Initial symptoms are similar to those you experience with the flu. They include muscle and joint pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis can include feeling unusually tired all the time, depression and jaundice.
How Does World Hepatitis Day Help?
World Hepatitis Day was established to help people prevent hepatitis by keeping them informed about the disease. It causes 4,000 deaths each day, and causes 80% of liver cancer deaths. These numbers could be reduced if more people took the necessary preventative measures.
There are a number of precautions you can take. For example, you should never have unprotected sex, take unsafe injections or share drug-using equipment. You can even get a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B. It’s also helpful to moderate your alcohol intake because drinking excessively over the course of many years can cause damage to the liver which leads to hepatitis.
Events take place across the world to celebrate World Hepatitis Day, and you can find out more about what’s going on near you at http://worldhepatitisday.org/. You’ll also find more information about the disease and how to prevent it. You don’t have to do much to get involved – simply sharing the word on social media will help.