Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused due to a virus, and it is one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year. If that weren't enough, there are five different types of hepatitis virus that you are prone to. The virus spreads quite easily, but there are many ways you can protect yourself from it. So for this World Hepatitis Day, here are our top five tips to save yourself from the hepatitis virus:
1. Stay clean
Practicing good hygiene and sanitation will help reduce your risk of contracting hepatitis A and E. Always wash your hands, clean fruits and vegetables before eating, stay away from under cooked meat or animal products and make sure to have clean water as well. If you are somewhere and unsure of how pure the water is, bring it to a boil for a minute and then have it. Do not share razors, scissors, and needles. If you are around or living with someone who has hepatitis B, make sure to stay away from their blood and bodily fluids.
2. Get vaccinated
Prevention is always better than cure. There are vaccinations available for both hepatitis A and B, and ideally children above a year or older should get it.
3. Be informed
4. Take precautions while travelling
It is important to get vaccinated if you are travelling to places where hepatitis virus is common, or there is a high chance of you contracting it. Some areas include Asia, Eastern Europe, Central and South America, Mexico and Africa. Again, make sure to stay clean and sanitary, especially when it comes to food and water.
5. Practice safe sex
Unprotected sexual contact puts you at risk of contracting the hepatitis virus, especially hepatitis B. Using a condom and practicing safer sex can help minimize the risk. It is important to note that you may be at high risk if you have sex with an infected person, have multiple sexual partners, or are a man who has sex with men.