Valley Healthcare

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil: Learn About Hepatitis

This year’s theme for World Hepatitis Day, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” was used in social media by world famous entertainers in hopes to have the largest involvement in the education of hepatitis.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are five main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E.

In particular, types A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Types B, C and D usually occur as a result of contact with infected body fluids. Hepatitis B and C has led to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.

Acute infection may occur without symptoms or may include symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and dark urine.

While all 5 types cause liver disease, they vary in important ways.

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is present in the feces of infected persons and is most often transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. Most people in areas of the world with poor sanitation have been infected with this virus. Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HAV.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is transmitted through exposure to infective blood, semen, and other body fluids. A safe and effective vaccine is available to prevent HBV.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is mostly also transmitted through exposure to infective blood. There is no vaccine for HCV.

Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections occur only in those who are infected with HBV. The dual infection of HDV and HBV can result in a more serious disease and worse outcome. Safe and effective hepatitis B vaccines provide protection from HDV infection.

Hepatitis E virus (HEV), like HAV, is mostly transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. HEV is a common cause of hepatitis outbreaks in developing parts of the world. Safe and effective vaccines to prevent HEV infection have been developed but are not widely available.

If you or a loved one are living with hepatitis, visit The Hepatitis Foundation website at http://www.hepatitisfoundation.org/HEPATITIS/Living.html for tips on how to cope and prevent the further spread of infection.

For more information on how to get involved in Hepatitis awareness in your communities, please visit http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/en/who-what-where-when-and-how.html to learn what you can do to prepare for the next World Hepatitis Day.
Check with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ before traveling abroad. And, most importantly, make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations by setting up an appointment with one of the caring physicians at Valley Healthcare by calling our main line at 706-322-9599.

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