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World Hepatitis Day

By Kent Donahue

July 28, 2020

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) recognizes July 28, 2020 as World Hepatitis Day. Worldwide, 290 million people are living with viral hepatitis unaware. Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost. 

This annual observance seeks to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis as a major global health threat, and to find the “missing millions”. 

Hepatitis is characterized by inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States. Symptoms of hepatitis, if they are present, include nausea, fever, weakness, loss of appetite and jaundice. Hepatitis A is transmitted by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with human waste (feces). Hepatitis B is spread through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. Hepatitis C is usually spread through contact with blood containing the virus. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C (HCV). 

All types of viral hepatitis can cause inflammation of the liver; however, hepatitis B and C infections can result in a lifelong, chronic infection. According to the World Health Organization, viral hepatitis B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis, cancer and viral hepatitis-related deaths. An estimated 325 million people worldwide live with hepatitis B and/or C, and for most, testing and treatment remains beyond reach. 

The goal of the DOH-Orange Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program is to reduce hepatitis cases among residents and visitors of Orange County. The program provides free Hepatitis vaccines and testing for high risk populations. In addition, it provides education, screening, counseling, and follow-up referrals.  For more information on the program, please call 407-723-5054.

 

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.