Learn About Hepatitis Video

Hepatitis affects one in twelve people around the world and can cause liver damage, cancer and even death. For the most part, Hepatitis is a silent disease which is why it is so important to get checked.
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Sherri Dmyterko: Do you think you are at risk of getting hepatitis B and C? Female Speaker: I don't think I may at risk, but I don't really know a lot about it. Male Speaker: But some people can catch it from like, few other people pops or sharing lunch as just stuff like that. Sherri Dmyterko: Do you know the risk factors for hepatitis? Male Speaker: Dirty needles or sexually transmitted. Sherri Dmyterko: It may be hard to believe but one in 12 around the world is living with hepatitis. In Canada hepatitis B and C effects as many as 600,000 people and many of them don't even know it. Doctor Jenny Heathcote specializes in the treatment of hepatitis. Jenny Heathcote: Both hepatitis B and C offer the most part, silent disease. That's why it's so important to be checked particularly if there is a risk factor that has occurred at any time in your life. It could have been 50 or 60 years ago. Most individuals chronically infected with hepatitis C or B have no symptoms for decades. One symptoms develop due to liver failure and or liver cancer, then of course it's very often too late to treat. Sherri Dmyterko: Larry Wong a hepatitis B patient wants people to know that anyone is at risk of getting hepatitis. Larry Wong: I believe I contracted hepatitis B at birth from my mother and I was not aware that I was a hepatitis B carrier until I was thirty in life. hepatitis B is very poorly understood because not too many people are aware of the rapid advances in western medicine that would allow the control and management of the effects of disease so that person or patient could lead an active healthier lifestyle. Sherri Dmyterko: Andy Cumming also knows all too well the burden of living with hepatitis C. Andy Cumming: I got hepatitis C from the infusion products that were used to treat my hemophilia, I had to quit my job in 2003 and prepare for myself of the inability of a liver transplant which occurred in 2005. World hepatitis day is a first step towards increasing the awareness on the part of governments funding agencies, researchers, the medical community, the population globally to understand just the magnitude of this emerging world wide health crises. Canadians living with hepatitis, their families, patients groups and health care professionals are joining together for this initiative to demand that hepatitis B and C receive the attention they deserve as life threatening diseases. Gary Fagan is president of the Canadian Liver Foundation and chair of the Canadian World Hepatitis Alliance. Gary Fagan: When it comes to availability to treatments for hepatitis, the Canadian system it, lacks far behind other systems in the world and I think that is truly an embarrassment. The thing that the Canadian government first of all has to acknowledge and recognize that hepatitis B and C is causing a serious health burden in this country. It is leading to chronic disability, it is leading to death in this country. The second thing that the government needs to do is to provide leadership; part of that leadership needs to come through a much more significant investment in research and treatment consistent with the number of people that are affected by this disease. Sherri Dmyterko: The Canadian World Hepatitis Day Alliance is asking the government to reduce the health in social impact of hepatitis B and C on Canadians by 2012 by improving access to care, promoting prevention and funding more research in community programs. To find out more of visit worldhepatitisday.org; Sherri Dmyterko reporting.

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