World Hepatitis Day - 07/28/2013

Foto: Three Monkeys

"Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" - this is what the Three Wise Monkeys symbolize. At World Hepatitis Day, they point to the public ignorance of the disease; ©
Peter Mocsonoky

„Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” – this is a Buddhist maxim that is symbolized by the widely known image of the Three Wise Monkeys. While it means being good in Asia, it expresses the ignorance towards bad things in the western world.

World Hepatitis Day 2013 refers to this second interpretation: Using the Three Wise Monkes, the World Hepatitis Alliance points out that the disease often is ignored in the public.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver with a range of possible causes. Most of them are viral infections. More than 390 million people worldwide suffer from chronic liver inflammation because of hepatitis B and C and more than one million of them die from it each year. In addition, there are several million acute infections through hepatitis A and E (according to WHO, July 2013). Furthermore, hepatitis is the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and liver tumors.

The spread of the hepatitis A virus can be prevented by improving hygiene and sanitary installations. A vaccine is available against type B; it protects against type D, too. There is also a vaccine against type E that has yet only been admitted for use by China, not the rest of the world. Type C can be treated with antiviral medication before it becomes a chronic disease; a vaccine is also in research here. You can read about other current developments in the research of hepatitis in our articles at


Read more about hepatitis:

Genetics: Mechanism Behind Autoimmune Hepatitis

Virology: “It is critical to have networks to fight against viral diseases”

Hepatitis C: A ‘Finger’ Pointing the Way to New Medication

Bacteriology: New Method Unmasks Chronic Infections