Hepatitis Awareness Day
July 28, 2022
Hepatitis is a liver infection that can be caused by three different viruses; Hepatitis A, B, and/or C. Since the liver is a vital organ of the body that processes nutrients, filters the blood, and fights infection, inflammation/damage can cause detrimental effects. According to the CDC, Hepatitis A has about 24,000 new infections a year, Hepatitis B has about 22,000 new cases a year, and Hepatitis C has about 50,000 new cases a year. Each virus effects the liver differently and each has their own causation and treatment.
Hepatitis A can be transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food/water or through person to person contact of an infected person. It has the highest survival rate, with most patients recovering fully with lifelong immunity afterwards. Also, an effective vaccine exists that is administered to children before they turn two.
Hepatitis B is usually transmitted through contact with body fluids of an infected person, such as sexual contact, sharing drug-injection equipment, or even mother to baby at birth. Hepatitis B is slightly more serious and 15-20% of infected people develop chronic liver disease. Thankfully, an effective vaccine exists and is administered to children before they turn two.
Hepatitis C is also usually transmitted through contact with blood from an infected person. Most cases of Hepatitis C derive from the sharing of needles or other drug-injection equipment. This is the most serious case of Hepatitis and more than 50% of infected people develop a chronic infection. Sadly, there is no vaccine available for Hepatitis C and treatment approach is dependent on illness, but there are antiviral medications that have proved effective.
The purpose for Hepatitis Awareness Day is to promote awareness of Hepatitis, and to also advocate for research on treating Hepatitis. This day is also to show local and/or federal legislation that all people suffering from Hepatitis deserve access to care they can afford.
With two successful vaccines and treatment plans available, everyone is able to protect themselves protect themselves from the dangers of Hepatitis. Note that hepatitis A and B vaccines have rare complications such as SIRVA, shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, and allergic reactions. Because of this, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was established to provide compensation to victims injured by vaccines. For more information about the VICP or to schedule a free consultation, call The Greenwood Law Firm.