The World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28 and aims to raise global awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes besides encouraging their prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Viral hepatitis, a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing millions of people every year. But hepatitis remains largely ignored or unknown.
The date of 28 July was chosen for World Hepatitis Day in honor of the birthday of Nobel Laureate Professor Baruch Samuel Blumberg, discoverer of the hepatitis B virus.
In this article, we will discuss hepatitis A and E, hepatitis B and D, and hepatitis C. Here’s a preview:
- Preventing Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E are short-term infections that go away without treatment. Once you have had one of these infections, you cannot be infected again. Hepatitis A and E infections often have no symptoms. The viruses that cause Hepatitis A and E are found in the feces of an infected person and are often spread through poor hygiene.
- Preventing Hepatitis B and D: The viruses that cause hepatitis B and D are spread by contact with infected blood and certain other body fluids. Like other hepatitis infections, hepatitis B and D attack the liver and can sometimes cause serious long-term damage. Chronic hepatitis can put you at risk for other diseases, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. A hepatitis B vaccination can protect you from infection.
- Preventing Hepatitis C HCV, the virus that causes hepatitis C, is primarily spread by blood-to-blood contact. Hepatitis C is the most dangerous form of viral hepatitis and is most likely to cause chronic infection. However, most people who are infected with hepatitis C show no symptoms and thus might not know they are infected.
The diagnosis of hepatitis is made by biochemical measurements of liver function. However, specific tests must be carried out to determine the cause and type of hepatitis. These include detection of components of the virus particles, viral DNA/RNA, and antibodies to the virus in blood serum samples.