World Hepatitis Day 2012-Hepatitis C Awareness
Hepatitis C is a viral disease that leads to swelling (inflammation) of the liver. The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic and can lead to scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis, which is generally apparent after many years. WHO marks July 28 as the World Hepatitis Day every year to increase awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis.
Hepatitis simply means swelling of the liver that persists longer than six months. Notably, one of the most common causes of chronic hepatitis are viral infection, alcohol, drugs, chemicals, fatty liver and autoimmune disease but Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections account for around 75 percent of chronic Hepatitis worldwide.
According to World Hepatitis Alliance, currently, around 500 million people are infected with either chronic Hepatitis B or C and 1 in 3 people have been exposed to one or both viruses. Hepatitis C is caused by the virus HCV. It also spreads through contact from an infected person`s blood, semen, or body fluid. Like hepatitis B, hepatitis C causes swelling of the liver and can cause liver damage that can lead to cancer.