Act Now. For World Hepatitis Day, learn more about the different types of viral
hepatitis that impact millions worldwide, and what you can do.
– a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E- affects almost
400 million people worldwide, causing both acute (short-term) and chronic
(long-term) liver disease and killing more than 1.4 million people every
year. In 2013, viral hepatitis was the seventh leading cause of death
worldwide, compared with the tenth in 1990, and caused more deaths than AIDS,
tuberculosis, and even road injuries. World Hepatitis Day is July 28th and is an
opportunity to highlight the global burden of this disease, CDC’s efforts to
combat viral hepatitis around the world, and what actions individuals can take.
What is CDC
doing to help combat hepatitis globally?
The vision of
CDC is to eliminate viral hepatitis in the United States and worldwide. CDC’s
recently released five-year strategic plan[PDF - 17
pages](https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/pdfs/dvh-strategicplan2016-2020.pdf) is organized
around four key elements, one of which is "Act globally to prevent, detect, and control viral
CDC has been
re-designated as a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization
(PAHO/WHO) Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Viral
Hepatitis.These WHO Collaborating Centers work to implement WHO’s Global
Hepatitis Strategy priority activities, serving as a reference laboratory, and
providing technical assistance for the development of viral hepatitis
guidelines and policies.
assists countries experiencing a high burden of viral hepatitis. In recent
years, these countries have included China, Egypt, Georgia, India,
Pakistan, and Vietnam. Our international work is helping to reduce the disease
burden for travelers and people migrating to the United States, while
identifying best practices that may serve as models for other countries,
including the United States.
What are the
different types of hepatitis viruses occurring around the world?
hepatitis viruses - A, B, C, D and E - are distinct; they can have different
modes of transmission, affect different populations, and result in different
health outcomes. While hepatitis B and hepatitis C cause the greatest global
burden of disease, hepatitis A, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E are also global
·Hepatitis A is primarily spread when someone who has never been
infected with hepatitis A and is not vaccinated, ingests food or water that is
contaminated with the feces of an infected person or has direct contact with
someone who is infected. Hepatitis A does not cause chronic liver disease and
is rarely fatal, but it can cause serious symptoms. Hepatitis A can be
prevented through improved sanitation, food safety, and vaccination(https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/afaq.htm#vacWhat).
·Hepatitis B is spread through contact with blood or other body
fluids of an infected person, including at birth from a mother to her baby and
through sexual contact. The hepatitis B virus can cause both acute and chronic
infection, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a
serious, chronic illness. People who are chronically infected can develop liver
cirrhosis or even liver cancer. Hepatitis B is most common in sub-Saharan
Africa and east Asia, where between 5–10% of the adult population is chronically
infected. Rates of chronic hepatitis B are also high in the Amazon region of
South America, the southern parts of eastern and central Europe, the Middle
East and the Indian subcontinent. Many people with chronic hepatitis B were
infected at birth or during early childhood. Getting the hepatitis B
vaccine(https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/bfaq.htm#bFAQ32) is the most
effective way to prevent hepatitis B virus infection. WHO recommends that all
infants receive the hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after birth. In
many parts of the world, widespread infant vaccination programs have led to
dramatic declines of new hepatitis B cases.
·Hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood of an infected
person. Hepatitis C is common in many countries in the world; in much of Asia
and Africa, most infections are caused by unsafe medical injections and other
medical procedures. Hepatitis C related to injecting drug use occurs throughout
the world; an estimated 67% of people who inject drugs having been infected
with the hepatitis C virus. Mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C is also
possible. Hepatitis C, like hepatitis B, can also cause both acute and chronic
infections, but most people who get infected develop a chronic infection. A
significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop liver
cirrhosis or liver cancer. Antiviral medicines can cure approximately 90% of
people with hepatitis C, thereby reducing the risk of death from liver cancer
and cirrhosis, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low. There is currently
no vaccine for hepatitis C but research in this area is ongoing.
·Hepatitis D is passed through contact with infected blood. It
only occurs in people who are already infected with the hepatitis B virus.
People who are not already infected with hepatitis B can prevent hepatitis D by
getting vaccinated against hepatitis B.
·Hepatitis E is spread mainly through contaminated drinking water.
Hepatitis E usually clears in 4-6 weeks so there is no specific treatment.
However, pregnant women infected with hepatitis E are at considerable risk of
mortality from this infection. Hepatitis E is found worldwide, but the
number of infections is highest in East and South Asia. Improved sanitation and
food safety can help prevent new cases of hepatitis E. A vaccine to prevent
hepatitis E has been developed and is licensed in China, but is not yet
Do you need to
be vaccinated and/or tested for hepatitis?
CDC and DVH are
continuing to lay the foundation for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a
public health threat, both domestically and abroad. Hepatitis A, hepatitis B,
and hepatitis C are the most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States.
To see if you need to be tested and/or vaccinated for hepatitis A, B, or C,
take CDC’s online
Assessment(https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/riskassessment/index.htm), which is
based on U.S. recommendations.
County Health Department supports families through a variety of programming and
services, including: Nutrition Therapy, family planning, immunizations, WIC,
HANDS, community education events, Cooper Clayton smoking cessation, etc. For more information on our services, please
call 744-4482 or visit our website at www.clarkhealthdept.org. You can also like us on FACEBOOK or follow us
information taken from: www.cdc.gov