Hepatitis is a medical condition caused by a virus that majorly affects the liver. Hepatitis can be grouped into two separate types, autonomic and secondary, depending on the causative agent. Secondary (noninfectious) hepatitis is when the body manufactures antibodies which act against the liver tissues. This occurs as a result of either toxins, drugs, alcohol or medication circulating in the blood stream. There is also virus-caused (infectious) hepatitis which can be classified into Hepatitis A, B, C, D or E.
Hepatitis is a very deadly disease because it affects the liver, which is one of the human body’s vital organs. The liver is paramount for performing critical tasks in the body including storage of nutrients and filtering toxins.
Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis
- Chronic fatigue
- Dark urine and pale stool (frequent and unusual)
- Abdominal pains
- Weight loss
- Signs of jaundice
- Poor or loss of appetite
Hepatitis is a viral disease that develops slowly. Symptoms may be subtle and difficult to detect in early stages.
Diagnosis of Hepatitis
- Check up on the risk factors depending on your history and physical examination
- Blood tests can be done to detect the source of the disease
- Abdominal ultrasounds to ascertain the type of hepatitis you have
- Liver functionality tests to determine the efficiency and performance of your liver
- Liver biopsy
- This is a medical procedure where a portion of the liver tissue is extracted to see the extent of your liver that is affected
What Hepatitis Awareness Month Entails
Hepatitis awareness month is mainly a campaign by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to create awareness of the epidemic. The CDC in collaboration with its health partners designated May as Hepatitis awareness month. They named May 19th in particular as the national day for Hepatitis testing and encourage people to do so on this day.
Hepatitis Risk Assessment Promotion
The CDC also advocates for using health assessment tools for testing. These tools include online assessment, testing, vaccination, one-time blood tests, hepatitis B screening, and others developed by CDC. It also provides reports and recommendations after these assessments are completed.
The CDC encourages organizations that provide hepatitis-related services (testing and vaccination) to advertise themselves and be registered to offer such services. This helps people suffering from hepatitis to know where they can get help in their zip code areas. This also goes a long way in helping to accurately capture the number of people suffering from the disease.
Utilization of Available Tools
During hepatitis awareness month, the CDC (along with other partners) donates free tools and equipment that are used to help people get vaccinated and tested for free.
If you have an organization offering similar services, you are able to get an array of tools (banners, posters, buttons, badges, etc.) free of charge which are provided in support of hepatitis testing and to help spread the word in your community.
During awareness month you are able to get multiple different hepatitis-related resources such as information from support fact sheets, info-graphics, templates, and many others. These resources will help you and those in your community understand the importance of hepatitis testing and vaccination.