“Today, we join with others around the globe to recognize World Hepatitis Day.

“Hepatitis is a devastating and often deadly disease transmitted through blood. This virus infects the liver and, if untreated, can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure.

“Awareness of hepatitis is extremely important. While some individuals may experience symptoms like fatigue, joint pain and muscle pain, many others may be living with this disease and not have symptoms. Ongoing education about this illness is essential.

“In addition, while highly effective treatments are now available, taking appropriate precautions to prevent transmission remains critical. These precautions include not sharing or reusing equipment for illicit drug use, ensuring proper cleaning and sanitization procedures are followed when obtaining a tattoo, body piercing or acupuncture, and using protection when having sex.

“Let’s extend our compassion and understanding to those living with hepatitis. Offering our unconditional support will give strength to those facing this difficult illness and the journey to recovery.

“On this day, I urge you to join me in increasing awareness of hepatitis and the measures that can prevent its transmission. Together, we can help reduce the number of individuals who acquire this serious illness.”

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