May 19, 2011
Raising Awareness of a Silent Epidemic
World Hepatitis Day – May 19, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – An estimated 4.4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis, but most do not know they are infected. Viral hepatitis is an inflammation or infection of the liver and is the leading cause of liver cancer. Today, World Hepatitis Day, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold is encouraging people to learn about hepatitis and how to protect themselves.
“Because viral hepatitis may not have symptoms for years, most people are unaware they are infected. Not only are these people not getting care and treatment, they may also be putting others at risk for infection,” said Dr. Arnold. “By not knowing how hepatitis is spread, or what you can do to avoid infection, you are putting your health at risk.”
Although many cases of hepatitis are not a serious threat to health, infection with certain hepatitis viruses can become chronic (long-lasting), and can sometimes lead to liver failure and death. The most common types of hepatitis viruses are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
For more information log onto www.idph.state.il.us.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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