World Hepatitis Day - get a liver health check at Park Medical Group
July 28, 2018 is World Hepatitis Day - the global theme of this year’s World Hepatitis Day is ‘Find the Missing Millions’.
According to their website, 300 million people are currently living with viral hepatitis, but are unaware of their condition:
“Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost. On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, there is a call for people from across the world to take action, raise awareness and join in the quest to find the “missing millions”.”
Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, caused by one of five different hepatitis viruses that are spread in different ways, and can affect different populations.
According to the Australian website for World Hepatitis Day, hepatitis B and C are the most common forms of the virus in Australia.
Hepatitis B comes in 2 different types – chronic and acute. The symptoms differ depending on the type of hep B infection. In Australia, 1 in 3 people do not know they are carrying the hepatitis B virus. It is vital that all Australians be tested for the virus by getting a liver health check-up.
The symptoms of acute hepatitis B include:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle/joint pain
People who suffer chronic hep B have a greatly increased risk of developing liver cancer. The symptoms of chronic hepatitis B include:
- Liver pain
- Loss of appetite
- Joint aches
According to Hepatitis Australia, there is a global shortage of the hepatitis B vaccine, but supplies are slowly being replenished:
“Hepatitis B can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine that has been available since 1982. In Australia, the hepatitis B vaccination program commenced in 1988, targeting groups at particularly high risk of infection. It is now recommended that all babies and adolescents be vaccinated against hepatitis B. The program continues and ensures that babies and adolescents have access to free hepatitis B vaccine.”
Park Medical Group can help you with the hepatitis B viral infection
If you experience these symptoms or have been diagnosed with hepatitis B in the past, please see your GP.
Symptoms for hepatitis C are difficult to recognise, and many people may not feel unwell for 10-15 years after infection from the hep C virus. In Australia, 60,000 people with hepatitis C have been cured, but 1 in 6 people do not know they have the virus. Hepatitis C is a curable condition, and medicine can be prescribed by your GP.
Symptoms of hepatitis C may include:
- Fatigue/sleep problems
- Flu-like symptoms
- Mood swings/anxiety/depression
- Poor appetite/indigestion
- Dry eyes, dry mouth and/or mouth ulcers
It is essential that people diagnosed with hepatitis C be cured. According to Hepatitis Australia:
“Curing hepatitis C substantially reduces the risk of liver cancer and liver failure, reducing mortality from cirrhosis and liver cancer. It can also improve quality of life, including physical, emotional, and social health.”
Find out more information about getting cured on the Hepatitis Australia website.
Park Medical Group – your local East Victoria Park GP
If you experience any of these symptoms or have been diagnosed with hepatitis B in the past, please see your GP for treatment options.
You can find out more information about getting tested for hepatitis C here.