The liver is an important organ in the human body. It fights infections, cleans toxins (poisons) from the blood, digests food and more. “Hepatitis” means literally “inflammation of the liver.” Hepatitis can lead to serious liver disease.
Although there are many forms of hepatitis, the most common types are caused by viruses: hepatitis A, B and C.
The World Health Organization estimates that between 130 and 170 million people are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus.
More than 350,000 people die every year worldwide from hepatitis C-related liver disease.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, an estimated 242,500 individuals are infected with hepatitis C in Canada, 21 per cent of whom don’t know they are infected.