As doctors the world over observed World Hepatitis Day on July 28,they recognised the need to focus on screening and preventing cases of viral hepatitis,while also breaking down the stigma associated with the disease. Accordingly,the theme for the 2013 edition of World Hepatitis Day focused on helping people recognise that the danger of hepatitis is closer to home than many may imagine. Approximately one in 12 persons worldwide,or some 500 million people,are living with chronic viral hepatitis. In India alone,about 2,50,000 people die with liver disease every year.
Medicos explain that 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. Owing to its potential for major outbreaks and epidemic spread,resulting in chronic disease and even death,the virus is of great concern to medical experts around the world. Dr Parimal Lawate,a Pune gastro-enterologist says,Hepatitis is a silent killer as it rarely presents symptoms until very late.
While Hepatitis B,C and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids,Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. The disease can affect anyone,anywhere. Therefore,it is important to know it,confront it and get tested,