“We have the power to prevent new hepatitis infections and we need people to take action,” said Thelma King Thiel, CEO and chairman, Hepatitis Foundation International.
Silver Spring, MD (PRWEB) July 28, 2011
Hepatitis Foundation International, dedicated to liver health and the prevention of liver related diseases, urges people to get tested and immunized to help prevent new viral hepatitis infections.
“We have the power to prevent new hepatitis infections, whether hepatitis A, B or C, through immunizations, avoiding risky behaviors such as sharing needles, toothbrushes and razors, and encouraging those as risk for infection to get tested,” said Thelma King Thiel, CEO and chairman, Hepatitis Foundation International.
The goal of World Hepatitis Day, July 28, is to increase awareness of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes. Viral hepatitis is a significant burden across the globe accounting for:
- 130 million people chronically infected with hepatitis C;
- An estimated 2 billion people worldwide infected with hepatitis B;
- 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A annually.
In the United States, chronic hepatitis C and hepatitis B infections continue to persist while hepatitis A infections have been dramatically decreased due to increased awareness and hygiene. Because viral hepatitis can persist for decades without symptoms, 65%-75% of infected Americans remain unaware of their infection status and are not receiving care and treatment. In May of this year the Department of Health and Human Services issued the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan to prevent disease and help those who are diagnosed.
HFI knows of the urgency to make this action plan happen, especially the need to identify the large at-risk population of Baby Boomers, who are likely unaware of their infection. HFI urges people to take the following steps to prevent hepatitis and preserve their liver:
1. Get tested. For information about testing contact your local public health department or your doctor.
2. Get vaccinated. Vaccinations for hepatitis A and B are available.
3. Get educated and protect your liver. The liver is vital for overall health. Avoid drugs, alcohol and limit the amount of fatty, unhealthy foods, all of which damage the liver.
About Hepatitis Foundation International
The mission of the Hepatitis Foundation International is to promote liver wellness, healthy lifestyles, and reduce the incidence of preventable diseases that affect the liver including obesity, diabetes, fatty liver, hepatitis, HIV, and substance abuse. For information visit http://www.hepatitisfoundation.org.
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