July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. The goal of this day is to raise awareness about hepatitis. You can do that by reading this blog and checking out health resources at the Free Library! The South Philadelphia Library will be hosting a World Hepatitis Day informational event on Friday, July 28 from 11:00 a.m. -1:00 p.m., so stop by to ask questions of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and learn more about this disease.
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver and can be caused by toxins, alcohol, or a virus. There are 6 types of hepatitis: A, B, C, D, F, and G. Some people who have hepatitis have no symptoms. Others may have loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, dark-colored urine and pale bowel movements, stomach pain, and/or yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice).
In Philadelphia, hepatitis B and C are the most common types of viral hepatitis and kill more people than HIV. Hepatitis affects Philadelphians of every age, race, gender, and sexual orientation. There are often no symptoms, even for years. Many people living with hepatitis are unaware they have it. Because of this, it is important to get tested.
How do I know if I am at risk?
You can take a hepatitis risk assessment through the Centers for Disease Control. This will take into account your medical history and risk factors, as well as give you information to find out if you are at risk.
How can I find support and care for myself, a friend, or family member?
Check out the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s list of healthcare providers.
Is there a vaccine for hepatitis?
There are vaccines for Hepatitis A and B. Talk to your doctor about your immunization history to find out if you should get one or both of these vaccines.
What questions should I ask my doctor?
The PDPH has a helpful, printable list of questions you should ask your doctor.