Hepatitis Can’t Wait – World Hepatitis Day

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Every 30 seconds, someone dies from a hepatitis-related disease. Hepatitis can be prevented. There does not need to be a stigma or discrimination against those affected by hepatitis. Our communities can’t wait. Hep can’t wait.

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, which is a major organ in your body. The liver helps fight infections, process nutrients, and filter your blood. Hepatitis is typically caused by a virus that can cause several health problems, especially when left untreated. There are five types of hepatitis: A, B, C, D, and E.

To read more about each type, please click here.

Hepatitis Fast Facts

  • Three hundred million people worldwide live with hepatitis.
  • Only Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are preventable through vaccination.
  • Less than 20% of people with a form of hepatitis are aware that they have an infection.
  • Hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common forms.
  • Hepatitis A is spread through poor hygiene, poor sanitation, and lack of safe water.
  • Hepatitis B is spread from mother to child during birth, through contact with blood or bodily fluids and unsafe needle use.
  • Hepatitis C is spread through unsafe needle use, unscreened blood transfusions, and unsafe healthcare practices.
  • 5 million people die each year from hepatitis due to late-stage diagnosis.
  • The best protection is prevention through vaccination and healthy hygiene.

How do I know if I have hepatitis?

Each form of the virus will show different symptoms ranging from mild to severe. For hepatitis A, B, and C, your symptoms may include fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, body discomfort, dark-colored urine, and yellowing of the eyes and skin (also known as jaundice). Hepatitis D can only be found if you already have hepatitis B and includes the same symptoms. Hepatitis D may also cause cirrhosis which is liver disease. Hepatitis E also consists of the symptoms listed above and can cause liver failure.

What is World Hepatitis Day?

Every year, on July 28, we celebrate World Hepatitis Day. World Hepatitis Day is one of the seven public health holidays officially mandated by the World Health Organization (WHO). 

For 2022, the theme is “I Can’t Wait” and “Hep Can’t Wait.” This theme was chosen to increase the fight against viral hepatitis and highlight the importance of hepatitis testing and hepatitis treatment. 

On World Hepatitis Day, WHO calls on everyone worldwide to take action and raise awareness of hepatitis because Hepatitis Can’t Wait.

Do you have more questions about hepatitis? Would you like to get tested? Talk the talk with your location clinician.