July 28 will mark World Hepatitis Day 2020.
Hepatitis, a group of infectious diseases classified by letters A, B, C, D and E, affects an estimated 400 million people worldwide. World Hepatitis Day is one of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) seven officially mandated global public health days. The date of 28 July was chosen because it is the birthday of Nobel-prize winning scientist Dr Baruch Blumberg, who discovered the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and developed a diagnostic test and vaccine.
This year’s theme is ‘Find the Missing Millions’, which aims to draw attention to the 290 million people living with viral hepatitis unaware. The World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) says that without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost.
According to the WHO, Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world but other infections, toxic substances like alcohol, certain drugsand autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.
There are five main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These five types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread. Types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.
Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids. Common modes of transmission for these viruses include receipt of contaminated blood or blood products, invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment and for hepatitis B transmission from mother to baby at birth, from family member to child, andby sexual contact.
Acute infection may occur with limited or no symptomsor may include symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
If you would like to learn more about Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, visit the WHO website and follow the links to its fact sheets.
From all of us here at Right at Home.
In good health.
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Right at Home is a 'My Aged Care' government approved, home care provider for levels 1 – 4 and offers flexible in-home care services such as nursing care, after hospital care, post-operative care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer's care. Right at Home also offers assistance with daily living and personal care such as grooming, hygiene, transport, shopping, meal prep, domestic services and social support, so your loved one can enjoy a more independent, vibrant life. Our nurses and caregivers are screened, highly trained, and insured prior to entering your home so you can trust us with the caregiving while you focus on your loved one.
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