World Hepatitis Day 2024: Awareness Drive About the Types of Hepatitis


World Hepatitis Day 2024: Awareness Drive About the Types of Hepatitis

Do you know that every 30 seconds, people lose their lives to hepatitis B or C? Around 1,100,000 deaths are registered per year against hepatitis. Aren’t these figures alarming?

The saddest part is that half of the population is unaware of the consequences. Hence, World Hepatitis Day takes place worldwide to raise awareness among people and curb the spread. 

World Hepatitis Day: A Brief Intro

World Hepatitis Day takes place every year on 28 July to spread awareness of viral hepatitis that leads to liver inflammation, causing severe health concerns and liver cancer. It is a condition that happens due to inflammation of the liver. There are five main types of hepatitis virus. A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis B and C lead to chronic disease in millions of people globally and are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and viral hepatitis-related deaths.

According to WHO, the world is currently facing a new outbreak of unexplained chronic hepatitis infecting children. It is also noticed that death due to tuberculosis and HIV have been declining, whereas deaths from hepatitis are increasing. On world awareness day about Hepatitis, WHO is focussing on highlighting the need for bringing hepatitis care closer to health care facilities so that people get aware and have better access to its treatment and care, regardless of the type of hepatitis.

WHO targets to achieve the eradication of Hepatitis by 2030 by calling on the countries to achieve the below-mentioned targets:

  • Ensure that at least 90% of people with hepatitis B and C virus are well-diagnosed
  • To make sure  80% of eligible patients receive proper treatment
  • Reduce the number of hepatitis-infected people by 90%;
  • Reduce hepatitis-related deaths from liver cirrhosis and cancer by 65%;

This article will highlight why Hepatitis is a global concern and how it impacts millions worldwide.

Significance of World Hepatitis Day 2024

There has been research done to eradicate hepatitis from roots around the world. Along with this day, this day aims to raise public awareness and encourage people to get diagnosed and treated to prevent illness. This day has the following goals to achieve complete riddance of this deadly disease: 

  • Raise awareness about the types of hepatitis and their transmission process
  • Strengthen prevention and control of hepatitis
  • Increased vaccination campaigns for hepatitis B
  • Encourage global response to illness

Types of Viral Hepatitis

Classification of hepatitis is done in 5 main categories- Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E; let’s learn about all of them below: 

Hepatitis A and E

These two types of hepatitis are liver infections spread by contaminated water or food. Jaundice, stomach pain, altered urine colour, altered excretion, appetite loss, joint pain, loose stools, exhaustion, fever, and other symptoms are just a few of the signs and symptoms of hepatitis A or E infection. Poor hygiene practices and a lack of access to clean water are widespread in places where hepatitis E is prevalent. Most of the time, this is manageable or self-treatable. Although it can be detrimental to those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, those with co-morbid conditions, and pregnant.women

Hepatitis B and C

The most common kinds of hepatitis in India are these two, and the symptoms may take time to develop. Although asymptomatic for up to 12 weeks, a person with hepatitis B or C might still transmit the disease. Pale urine, soreness in the muscles and joints, abdominal pain, jaundice, a lack of appetite, and weakness are just a few of the signs and symptoms of this illness. Through sexual activity, the use of infected needles, or the administration of IV medicines, the Hepatitis B or C virus may contract. Hepatitis B and C infections are more likely to occur in older adults, people with impaired immune systems, and those with pre-existing diseases like kidney, liver, or diabetes.

A mother who has hepatitis B during pregnancy has the risk of infecting her unborn child.

People with Hepatitis B and C are more likely to develop chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. Hepatitis B is frequently discovered in people with liver cancer after going undetected in the early stages.

Hepatitis D

Only those with hepatitis B and D virus infections develop hepatitis D. When blood or other bodily fluids from a person infected with the virus enter the body of a person who is not infected, hepatitis D can spread. Hepatitis D can develop into a long-term chronic illness or an acute, short-term infection.

Causes of Hepatitis

Generally, infectious hepatitis is caused by a virus. Hepatitis A and E are often transmitted by contact with food or water contaminated by an infected person's bodily fluids. Also, eating undercooked pig, deer, or seafood can cause hepatitis E.

Hepatitis B, C, and D are transmitted by touching the blood of a person with the illness. Contact with other bodily fluids can also result in the transmission of hepatitis B and D. Many different scenarios, such as using the same needles or engaging in unprotected intercourse, might result in this.

Hepatitis Signs and Symptoms 

In the words of Karen Gonzales,

“Hepatitis doesn’t always present symptoms” 

However, people should take immediate action if they notice the following hepatitis symptoms persistently:

  • Change in urine colour
  • Stomachache
  • Jaundice
  • Low-grade fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling sick
  • Pain in joints
  • Pale or clay-coloured stool

Severe Health Conditions due to Hepatitis Viral

  • Liver cancer
  • Destruction of the liver tissues
  • Weakening the immune system
  • Liver failure
  • Death in certain acute cases

Hepatitis Treatment

Hepatitis A and hepatitis E cannot be cured, although they typically go away on their own. Medication can be used to treat hepatitis B and C. If you have any viral hepatitis symptoms, you should see a doctor for better care and maintain good hygiene and sanitisation. Ignorance can cause health issues to get worse and become unmanageable.

Read: Is Your Liver at Risk? The Truth About Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease

Prevention of Hepatitis 

To lower the risk of hepatits infection, you should follow these preventive measures:

  • Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B
  • Use protection during intercourse
  • Avoid sharing needles
  • Maintain good hygiene
  • Wash hands with soap regularly
  • Avoid using things of an infected person
  • Take precautions while getting tattooed or piercing

The Final Words

Hepatitis has taken over the world but letting it spread like a pandemic can make things got worse and uncontrollable. The awareness campaigns aim to educate people so that the spread can be curbed, which may lead to eradicating the disease in a few years. 

Furthermore, preventive care is equally important. Following the aforementioned precautions and abstaining from proper hygiene to avoid infections and vaccination are some recommended steps when keeping hepatitis at bay. Prevent the adverse effects of hepatitis that leads to complications related to the liver as soon as you get diagnosed. Choose Health Insurance for Critical Illness from Care Health Insurance today to safeguard yourself in times of crisis.

>> Also Read: How Deadly is Hepatitis C?

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. Kindly consult your general physician for verified medical advice. The health insurance benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions. Refer to your policy documents for more information.

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