Today, July 28th, 2015 is World Hepatitis Day. Every year 1.4 million people die from viral hepatitis and yet all of these deaths could be prevented with better awareness and understanding.
There are five hepatitis viruses, A, B, C, D and E, though most people are only familiar with the first three.
Hepatitis A is spread mainly through eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person. It can clear itself up naturally after a few weeks and there is a vaccination that can prevent infection.
Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. It can be passed on from mother to child during childbirth. There is a vaccination that can prevent infection.
Hepatitis C is mainly spread through blood-to-blood contact. In rare cases it can be transmitted through certain sexual practices and during childbirth. There is no vaccination for hepatitis C but as we reported there are terrific new drugs for it. The obvious preventive measure is not to share a needle with anyone ever. This is virtually the only way HCV can be transmitted, since the screen for donated blood is 100 percent accurate, and sexual transmission is very rare.
Hepatitis D has only been found in people with Hepatitis B, so preventing that prevents both. Hepatitis E is gained in much the same way as A and there is a vaccine to prevent it.
It's obvious that vaccines and prevention are the best way to save 4,000 lives a day. So love your liver and get on the stick!