World Hepatitis Day 2022!

Jul 2022

Today is World Hepatitis Day! World Hepatitis Day is observed on the 28th of July each year to raise awareness of viral Hepatitis, which causes inflammation of the liver that leads to severe disease and liver disease. 

Hepatitis has recently been publicised after hundreds of young children around the world have developed severe cases of Hepatitis with no explained cause. The World Health Organisation together with other scientists are working to understand the cause of the infection that does not appear to belong to any of the known 5 types of Hepatitis Viruses: A, B, C, D and E.

This World Hepatitis Day, we take a look at everything you need to know about Hepatitis, the different types, how it spreads and what symptoms to look out for.

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a contagious disease which is characterised by inflammation of the liver. There a several reasons a person’s liver can become inflamed such as physical injury, too much alcohol or an autoimmune response.

Hepatitis is categorised into categories A, B, C, D and E:

Hepatitis A: is the result of an infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). This type of Hepatitis is an acute, short-term disease.

Hepatitis B: The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes Hepatitis B, this is often an ongoing, chronic condition. 

Hepatitis C:  Hepatitis C comes from the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is among the most common bloodborne viral infections and presents itself as a long-term condition.

Hepatitis D: Hepatitis D is caused by the Hepatitis D virus. It only affects people who are already infected with Hepatitis B, as it needs the Hepatitis B virus to be able to survive in the body.

Hepatitis E: Hepatitis E is a waterborne disease that is mainly found in areas with poor sanitation, it results from exposure to the Hepatitis E virus (HEV).

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis?

The new outbreak of Hepatitis brings focus to thousands of acute viral Hepatitis infections worldwide.

Most acute Hepatitis infections cause mild disease and can sometimes go undetected: However, symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Muscle and Joint Pain
  • A High temperature
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling unusually tired all of the time
  • A general sense of feeling unwell
  • Loss of appetite 

Are vaccinations available for Hepatitis?

Some vaccinations are available to combat Hepatitis. Vaccination against Hepatitis A is not routinely offered in the UK because the risk of infection is low for the majority of people. It is only recommended for people who are considered High Risk.

In 2017 the Hepatitis B Vaccine was added to the routine immunisation programme so all children can benefit from the protection from the Virus. Unfortunately, there are no vaccines available for Hepatitis C, D or E.

Did you know?

Recent statistics from the World Health Organisation indicate that:

  • 1,100 deaths per year are caused by Hepatitis B and C Infections
  • 9,400,000 people are receiving treatment for chronic Hepatitis C Virus infection
  • 10% of people who have chronic infection with hepatitis B virus are diagnosed and 22% of which receive treatment
  • 42% of children, globally, have access to the birth dose of the Hepatitis B Vaccine

How can Kay Medical help: 

At Kays Medical we can supply and administer the Hepatitis B Vaccine. If you are a healthcare worker, who regularly vaccinates others, takes blood or comes into contact with body fluids it is recommended that you get the Hepatitis B Vaccine. Find out more by visiting our Vaccination and Immunisation page or emailing or calling 0151 482 2850.