One in every 10 Americans is affected by some form of liver disease. The liver, the largest organ in the body after the skin, is essential for survival. If the liver is not working properly, a person can become very sick and can even die.
The Alabama Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge the public to learn the risk factors of viral hepatitis. The month of May has been designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month, and May 19 is the first national observance of Hepatitis Testing Day.
The word "hepatitis" means inflammation of the liver. Toxins, certain drugs, some diseases, heavy alcohol use, and bacterial and viral infections can all cause hepatitis. Hepatitis is also the name of a family of viral infections that affect the liver.