WiRED International Recognizes World Hepatitis Day


July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. According to a recent study, viral hepatitis is now a leading cause of death worldwide, killing as many people annually as malaria, tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS.


WiRED International offers a newly revised Hepatitis module, which describes all five types of hepatitis and their prevention, differences, causes, diagnoses and treatments.


Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, which can be caused by viruses, medications or toxic agents. The liver is the largest organ inside the body. It enables the body to fight infection, removes chemicals or toxins from the system, helps digest food and stores energy. Chronic hepatitis can lead to liver cancer and liver failure.


Viruses cause most cases of hepatitis. The type of hepatitis is named for the virus that causes it: A, B, C, D and E. Drug or alcohol use can also cause hepatitis. In other cases, the body mistakenly attacks healthy cells in the liver. Hepatitis C is the most serious kind and exhibits no symptoms. It can lead to cirrhosis, a scarring of the liver, and, unlike some of the other types, lacks a vaccine.


Because it can take years for the disease to develop, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hepatitis C testing for all adults born between 1945 and 1965, the group with the highest probability of having the virus. They should all receive one-time testing for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) regardless of their risk.


Further, The World Health Organization urges policy-makers, health workers and the public to act now to prevent infection and death from hepatitis by knowing the risks, getting tested and seeking treatment.


Hepatitis affects almost 400 million people worldwide. WiRED urges everyone to learn the facts about this devastating yet preventable and curable disease.



Do you need to be vaccinated and/or tested for hepatitis?


To see if you need to be tested and/or vaccinated for hepatitis, take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s online Hepatitis Risk Assessment.