28, July : Marked by World Health Organization (WHO), 28th July is observed as world Hepatitis Day,to raise the awareness of viral hepatitis and to reduce the deaths from Hepatitis.
With approximately 1.4 million deaths every year, 95% infected people with Hepatitis B or C are not aware that they are at risk. And above 90 percent people with Hepatitis C can be completely cured in just three to six months.
The Director-General of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan said, “The world has ignored hepatitis at its peril.” “It is time to mobilize a global response to hepatitis on the scale similar to that generated to fight other communicable diseases like HIV-AIDS and tuberculosis.”
Hepatitis is a silent killer virus that causes infection and inflammation of the liver in the Human body. A variety of reasons is observed in the case of hepatitis that makes it either acute or a chronic health challenge. Diagnosing the disease which is caused mainly due to the infected blood through unsafe injections is tough.
Recently, on 25th July WHO with its partner, Social Entrepreneurship for sexual health launched “HepTestContest,” a global contest to disclose how testing guidelines could change into real action. “We needed examples of innovations and best practices to help guide and inspire others,” said Philippa Easterbrook, co-led of WHO Global Hepatitis Programme.
After the virus enters the body, there is an incubation period lasting 1.5 to 6 months (average 4 months) until illness begins. During the acute phase (first 6 months after infection) most persons have no symptoms or might experience a mild illness.
Symptoms of acute HBV infection, when present, may include: Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) Dark-colored urine, light-colored stools, Fatigue, Abdominal pain, Loss of appetite Nausea Diarrhea and Fever.
The best way to prevent hepatitis B is with vaccination Other ways to reduce your risk of getting hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV: Do not inject drugs.
- If you do inject drugs, stop and get into a treatment program. If you can’ stop, never share needles, syringes, water, or “works” Do that might have blood on them (razors, toothbrushes).
- If you are a health care or public safety worker, follow universal blood/body fluid precautions and safely handle needles and other sharps Consider the risks if you are thinking about tattooing, body piercing, or acupuncture – are the instruments properly sterilized?
- If you’re having sex with more than one steady partner, use latex condoms correctly and every time to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including viral hepatitis and HIV.