World Hepatitis Day: Why Control the Hepatitis Epidemic
Why do we have to dedicate a day to promote Hepatitis? Simply because Asians and Africans populations are highly susceptible to the hepatitis virus, which is turning out to be the number one killer. World Health Organisation has established the 28th of July as Hepatitis Day to ‘express concern about the lack of progress in prevention, control and treatment of viral hepatitis around the world. (Via)
Hepatitis affects the liver and is plagued by inflammatory cells. Without cure, it can lead to fibrosis and cirrhosis. There are different kinds of hepatitis that we are familiar with: Hepatitis A, B and C. This year’s theme for World Hepatitis Day is - ‘It’s closer than you think.' In India, there are several cases of Hepatitis B and C and reports reveal that 5 million people from South-East Asia will fall victim to this dreaded disease.
Besides Hepatitis A, B, C you can expect alcoholic hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, delta agent (hepatitis D) and drug-induced hepatitis. There are 40 million Indians who suffer from hepatitis and this number is likely to increase if we do not take precautionary measures. Precaution is better than cure, because hepatitis is an expensive disease.
Symptoms include breast development in males, weight loss, jaundice like symptoms, vomiting, tiredness, and loss of appetite. The sad part is that most Indians are tested for Hepatitis at a later stage. Unfortunately ‘Vaccination is one of the strategies used to prevent hepatitis infection. Vaccines exist against hepatitis A and B. Effective candidate vaccines for hepatitis E prevention exist. Some progress has been shown in developing candidate vaccines against hepatitis C.’ Hence this makes hepatitis a dangerous disease. (Via)
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