With many in the third world being unable to gain access to clean drinking water and uncontaminated sources of food, Hepatitis continues to be a prevalent global concern. With the potential to spread quickly enough to reach epidemic levels, the virus poses a threat to many populations across the globe. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, the most common types being A, B, C, D, and E. Among these, Hepatitis B and C are especially dangerous as they cause chronic liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and cancer. Some facts about Hepatitis B and C:
- They kill approximately one million people a year.
- 500 million people around the world are currently infected.
- One in three people have been exposed to one or both viruses.
- Unlike hepatitis C, hepatitis B can be prevented through effective vaccination.
World Hepatitis Day was created by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2007 to raise awareness and prompt prevention of the virus and was officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an international observance in 2010. This move established the Global Hepatitis Programme, a program intended to greatly reduce instances of the viral infection around the world. According to WHO, through the use of easily administered vaccinations and sanitary practices, the disease could cease to pose a threat.
In the spirit of World Hepatitis Day, contingent on prevention through education, Emerging Infectious Diseases covers a wide range of diseases that are worldwide concerns today, such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, Avian Influenza, Malaria and, of course, Hepatitis. Authors Felissa R. Lashley and Jerry D. Durham take pains to give readers a thorough understanding of the disease, offering case studies, diagnoses, and methods of treatment. For anyone interested in learning more about emerging health issues and threats to global welfare, this text provides valuable insight.