Department places spotlight on hepatitis this weekPOSTED: 07/30/12 1:16 PM
St. Maarten – Section General Public Health (SGPH) of Collective Prevention Services (CPS) will be posting information on the Government Information Page (GIP) about the different forms of hepatitis throughout the week as part of the observance of World Hepatitis day, which fell on Saturday. The information will focus on what the various types of hepatitis are, how they are transmitted, who is at risk and the various methods of prevention and treatment.
Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The vast number of people infected with hepatitis are unaware they have it. There are five hepatitis viruses. People can get hepatitis from either infected bodily fluids or contaminated food and water depending on the type of hepatitis. Viral hepatitis kills about one million people every year. In addition, an estimated 500 million people experience chronic illness from their infection with hepatitis. It is a major cause of liver cancer and liver cirrhosis. Despite its staggering toll on health, hepatitis remains a group of diseases that are largely unknown, undiagnosed and untreated.
This year’s commemoration is themed “Hepatitis: It’s closer than you think” and the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged governments to strengthen efforts to fight viral hepatitis.