Many women and men are diagnosed with a disease called Hepatitis every year. Until now, all of the sufferers and close family and friends of the sufferers have not had a voice, they were simply just brushed under the rug. Well, not anymore. Now, officially, there is a national day dedicated to them by the name of “World Hepatitis Day”. On World Hepatitis Day, the entire nation is made aware of all of the men and women, even children, diagnosed with hepatitis. Hepatitis is a viral infection that comes in three different forms: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
All three types of hepatitis infections together affect an estimated 5% to 6% of Americans. Hepatitis is an infection that causes swelling and inflammation of the liver, causing many difficulties with the body. Symptoms typically include abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin and/or eyes, and flu like symptoms. Not everyone with hepatitis can have these symptoms; sometimes it can go almost completely undetected. A small amount of people with hepatitis can progress to acute liver failure, where the liver is unable to remove harmful substances from the bloodstream.
Many people overlook hepatitis and think that it is not severe, resulting in the creation of World Hepatitis Day. World Hepatitis day takes place on July 28th of every year, and its main goal and purpose it to raise awareness of all forms of hepatitis, and of the people who suffer from it. On this day, vaccinations, treatments, and other preventions are encouraged and brought to light. World Hepatitis day provides an opportunity to focus on commonly unheard of actions, as a way to get other people who do not have hepatitis to get vaccinated, and to encourage those who have it to find a way of treatment for it. Each year focuses on a new theme. The past couple years have been “More must be done to stop this silent killer”, “It’s closer than you think”, and “Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere. Know it. Confront It.”
This year’s theme is unknown as of right now, on account of the event being a few weeks away. On World Hepatitis Day, patients with Hepatitis A, B, or C are given bracelets, almost like the Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon. It is to raise awareness of anyone and everyone who sees it, to remind them that the liver infection is there and that it could happen to anyone, even them. No one wants to have Hepatitis, just as the patients diagnosed with the infection do not want anyone else to have it. Get checked, know the facts, know the signs, and please be careful, knowledgeable, and highly aware.