Hepatitis is a viral infection that damages the liver. It is one of the deadliest infections in the world that causes around 1.34 million deaths per year. These figures are approximately equal to the cases of death due to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria.
About 80% of the cases of liver cancer are caused by Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C. Also, profiling hepatitis becomes difficult due to its effects on a wide range of people belonging to different ethnicities, groups or geographical locations.
Read on to find interesting information related to World Hepatitis Day 2019.
Importance of World Hepatitis Day
World Hepatitis Day is observed on the 28th of July each year. This day gives an opportunity to raise awareness about the disease, and disperse knowledge about its causes and prevention. It also marks the birth of Baruch Samuel Blumberg whose contribution was remarkable towards effective screening and prevention of Hepatitis B.
Blumberg dedicated his time in understanding why some people contract a disease in a given environment, while others do not. He traveled around the globe collecting blood samples for this purpose. The collective efforts of him and his team led to the finding that the virus could cause liver cancer. They also developed a screening test that proved to be so effective that the infection rate of hepatitis B in children in China reduced from 15% to 1% in 10 years.
World Hepatitis Day Themes throughout the years
Each year, a campaign is organized around a theme to focus on various aspects of Hepatitis. Here is a list of themes related to this disease:
2011: Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere. Know it. Confront it. Confront her.
2012: It’s closer than you think
2013: More must be done to stop this silent killer
2014: Hepatitis: Think Again
2015: Prevention of viral Hepatitis. Act now.
2016: Know Hepatitis-Act now
2017: Eliminate Hepatitis
2018: Test. Treat. Hepatitis
2019: Find the Missing Millions
Prevention tips for Hepatitis
#1 Get vaccinated
Thanks to medical advancements, Hepatitis can be prevented to an extent with the help of vaccinations. For example, Hepatitis A vaccination is given to children over the age of one year after which a booster may be required for long-term protection. The effects of this vaccine may begin after 4 weeks. The following list of people have a higher chance of contracting this infection:
- Drug abusers
- Health care and laboratory workers
- People suffering from a sexually transmitted disease
- Military personnel
- Those who practice unprotected sex
- People who are in direct contact with hepatitis patients
#2 Consume clean food and water
It is always a good idea to consume clean food and water while traveling. Here are some ways in which you can avoid getting the Hepatitis infection.
- Do not consume raw meat and fish
- Avoid fruits that are already peeled
- Avoid drinks that contain ice
- Avoid raw dairy products
- Always drink water that has been boiled for over a minute
#3 Maintain hygiene
Always maintain hygiene if you want to avoid Hepatitis infection. Wash your hands before consuming any food and after using the washroom. This will help you avoid ingesting any contaminated food. Always use protection while handling any blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person. Clean yourself with an antiseptic soap and use a disinfectant to clean your surroundings when in contact with Hepatitis patients.
Health Insurance Plans and Hepatitis
If you are wondering do health insurance plans offer coverage for Hepatitis, the answer is yes. Some companies offer coverage that includes the cost of expenses related to Hepatitis in their health policy. If you feel you are at a risk of contracting this disease, look for health insurance plans that are suitable for the same.
The scope of a health insurance policy may depend upon the type of hepatitis diagnosed. Your insurer may offer coverage in case you are not responding to less-expensive treatment options. Those who are already suffering some amount of liver damage may also be covered under the health insurance policy.
If you have not availed any dedicated health policy, the occasion of World Hepatitis Day 2019 is perfect for you to get this financial security.
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