Shine the spotlight on World Hepatitis Day

July 28 every year is an important date in the healthcare calendar, as it is World Hepatitis Day.

A day created by World Hepatitis Alliance In order to promote their outstanding efforts in “incorporating hepatitis into the global health agenda”, World Hepatitis Day sheds light on the severity of the disease and how we can all What to do to eliminate this disease in the future.

According to the World Hepatitis Alliance, one person dies from hepatitis every 30 seconds, showing the great impact the disease has worldwide.

What are the main variants of hepatitis and how do they differ?

Hepatitis A

Can be cured: Yes

Vaccine: Yes

Can it cause chronic liver disease: are not

Opinion: most people make a full recovery

Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver caused when an uninfected, unvaccinated person consumes water contaminated with the feces of a carrier.

Hepatitis A is common in countries with poor hygiene and inadequate personal hygiene and can also occur during oral-anal sex.

Hepatitis B

Can be cured: healing in development

Vaccine: Yes

Causes chronic liver disease: Yes

Opinion: can put unvaccinated people at risk of liver failure and death.

Hepatitis B continues to be an important global health problem. It is transmitted when the blood, semen, or other body fluids of a carrier come into contact with an unvaccinated individual.

An estimated 257 million people have the disease. With treatment, the progression of chronic Hepatitis B can be slowed but cannot be cured. The disease greatly increases a person’s risk of developing liver cancer and cirrhosis, which is characterized by severe scarring of the liver.

Hepatitis C

Can be cured: Yes

Vaccine: are not

Causes of chronic liver disease? Yes

Opinion: Early diagnosis is essential for positive long-term outcomes.

Hepatitis C occurs in all WHO regions.

Unfortunately, Hepatitis C does not cause symptoms for many years and usually only when secondary or severe liver damage has already occurred.

In 3rd world countries, where access to routine tests is more limited than in countries like the UK, hepatitis C is a serious health problem. However, in affluent countries, where education about the disease is more common and where testing is common, the more likely it is to limit potential liver damage.

As with other forms of hepatitis C, symptoms eventually occur including jaundice, loss of appetite, dark urine, pale stools, and abdominal pain.

What kind of work is being done to rule out hepatitis?

Started by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2021, the campaign Hep can’t wait seeks to communicate the urgent need for action on viral hepatitis today. They are also looking to restart disrupted Covid-19 hepatitis services and ensure that the disease is included in “rebuild better” programs.

How common is hepatitis in the UK?

Hepatitis C is the most common form of the disease in the UK, mainly caused by sharing needles between drug users. According to the UK Health Security Agency, deaths from hepatitis C have decreased by 35% between 2015 and 2020.

As we are fortunate to have strict hygiene guidelines and water hygiene rules, cases of infectious hepatitis have occurred as a result of poor sanitation and decontamination very sporadically in the UK.

How can I join the fight against hepatitis?

Join the Hep Can Wait campaign with just a few simple clicks here. You’ll be able to stay up to date with emerging news and progress and find out how you contribute to this important battle.


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