WORLD HEPATITIS DAY • 28 July

Let's Go Viral

Tired of staying home?

Know your viruses and win a night away!

Go!

Rhinovirus
Human immunodeficiency virus
Hepatitis B virus
Hepatitis C virus
COVID-19 virus

Know Your Virus

COVID-19 isn't the only virus in town.

Meet the viruses that cause hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and the common cold... just to name a few. All these viruses are active in the Australian community, some with more deadly consequences than others.

Know your viruses and win

Bonus Entry

Find out more about each virus by clicking on More facts. Answer the bonus question in the quiz and receive an automatic additional entry into the draw!

Competition Dates

Entries close: 31 August 2020, 11:59 PM
Prize drawn: 1 September 2020

The Facts

Hepatitis B virus

Hepatitis B virus (HBV)

  • Damages the liver
  • Transmitted via blood and sexual fluids
  • Can be prevented with a vaccine

The hepatitis B virus is transmitted via blood, sexual fluids, and from mother to newborn baby during the birthing process.

There is no cure but there are effective medications to keep the liver healthy. Hepatitis B medication is needed at different stages of the illness. Six-monthly monitoring by a doctor is essential to establish when medication is needed. The medication is highly affordable for people with a Medicare Card.

36% of people living with this virus in Australia have not yet been diagnosed.

Most people living this virus got it from their mothers at birth, in regions of higher prevalence including North-East Asia, South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The best way to avoid catching this virus is through the vaccination.

Some people fight off this virus within 6 months. For all others, it is a lifelong illness. There is currently no cure.

An estimated 226,000 Australians are living with chronic hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C virus

Hepatitis C virus (HCV)

  • Damages the liver
  • Transmitted only from blood to bloodstream
  • Can be cured with tablets in 8 or 12 weeks

The hepatitis C virus is exclusively a blood borne virus. It is only transmitted when blood from someone who has the virus enters the bloodstream of another person. It is not a sexually transmitted infection.

Mother to infant transmission of hepatitis C is considered rare – about 5%.

Left untreated, over time the hepatitis C virus can cause permanent liver damage including liver cancer.

There is no vaccination for the hepatitis C virus

If you have ever had an unsterile tattoo or piercing, been to prison, or shared injecting drug equipment, it is a good idea to get tested for this virus.

This virus can be cured in 8 or 12 weeks with tablets. The new cure is highly affordable for people with a Medicare Card.

It is estimated that 114,000 Australians have chronic hepatitis C.

Rhinovirus

Rhinovirus (Common Cold)

  • Causes nose and throat inflammation
  • Transmitted through saliva, coughing, sneezing and contaminated surfaces
  • There is no treatment

There are over 200 viruses that cause the common cold but rhinovirus is thought to be the primary cause accounting for up to 40% of colds. Rhinovirus causes inflammation of the nose and throat lining leading to mucus, coughing, sneezing and sore throat and a general feeling of being unwell.

You are more likely to catch a cold if you are extremely tired, under emotional stress or have allergies.

Rhinovirus is transmitted through saliva, coughs, and sneezes; direct contact with the person; or by touching contaminated surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, or computer keyboards.

There is no treatment for rhinovirus. Most people recover in a week to ten days.

Sometimes colds may lead to bacterial infection in your lungs, sinuses or ears. When that happens, your GP may prescribe an antibiotic. This will treat the bacterial infection, not the virus.

The best means of preventing transmission include:

  • staying home when you feel unwell,
  • directing sneezes and coughs into your elbow,
  • regularly and thoroughly washing your hands with soap,
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth,
  • promptly disposing of soiled tissues,
  • cleaning frequently touched surfaces with detergent and water.

It is estimated that adults catch a cold an 2-4 times a year, and children up to 10 times.

Human immunodeficiency virus

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

  • Weakens the immune system
  • Transmitted via blood, sexual fluids and breast milk
  • Can be treated to maintain health and prevent transmission

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS. It can severely weaken the immune system, leaving a person at risk of catching a number of life-threatening illnesses.

This virus is transmitted through blood, sexual fluids and breast milk.

There is no vaccine or cure for HIV but there is a highly effective treatment for this virus. Taken correctly, the treatment can result in a long and healthy life, and make the virus virtually non-transmissible to other people.

Over 27,500 Australians are living with HIV.

COVID-19 virus

COVID-19 virus

  • Causes mild to very severe respiratory illness which may result in death
  • Transmitted through saliva, coughs, sneezes, aerosol and contaminated surfaces
  • There is no vaccine or cure

The COVID-19 virus is a new virus identified in 2019. It is from the coronavirus family and is also commonly referred to as “Coronavirus”. It causes mild to severe respiratory illness including death.

This virus is primarily transmitted through saliva, coughs and sneezes from a person with the virus, direct contact with the person, and contaminated surfaces.

The most common symptoms of this virus include fever, dry cough and tiredness. Other symptoms include aches and pains, congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhoea, loss of taste or smell, rash on skin, discolouration on fingers and/or toes, and breathing difficulties.

There is no vaccine or cure for this virus. People with severe symptoms require medical attention which may include ventilators and/or drugs to alleviate symptoms and aid recovery.

80% of people recover without requiring hospital treatment. Others may become seriously ill and require hospital treatment.

Older people and people with underlying health conditions are at greater risk of developing serious illness from this virus.

The best means of preventing transmission include:

  • staying home if you feel unwell (and phoning your doctor to seek testing),
  • directing your sneezes and coughs into your elbow,
  • regularly and thoroughly washing your hands with soap,
  • avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth,
  • staying at least 1.5 metres away from other people,
  • following the latest national guidelines.

The number of people affected by the COVID-19 virus is increasing daily.

The Quiz

Match the virus to the facts!

Match viruses to the facts in the questions below and enter the draw for a night for two at Mount Lofty House. Answer the bonus entry question correctly and automatically gain a second entry into the draw.

Question 1

Transmitted only from blood to blood. Damages the liver. Can be cured in 12 weeks.

What am I?

Question 2

Causes respiratory illness which may result in death. No vaccine or cure. Transmitted via saliva, coughs, aerosol, contaminated surfaces.

What am I?

Question 3

Can be prevented with a vaccine. Transmitted via blood and sexual fluids. Damages the liver.

What am I?

Question 4

Causes inflammation of nose and throat. No treatment available. Transmitted through sneezes, coughs, contaminated surfaces.

What am I?

Question 5

Transmitted through blood, sexual fluids and breast milk. Weakens the immune system. Treatment can prolong life and prevent transmission.

What am I?

Bonus Entry Question (Optional)

As of July 2020, what is the combined estimated number of Australians with either hepatitis B or hepatitis C?

Enter a whole number without commas or full stops.

The Prize

Mount Lofty House is an iconic boutique hotel in the Adelaide Hills offering luxury accommodation and fine dining.

The winner of the prize draw will receive a voucher for overnight accommodation for two guests in a Piccadilly Valley View Room, including breakfast, at Mount Lofty House.

The voucher is valid till 20 June 2023, for any night from Sunday to Thursday.

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Contact

Should I get tested for hepatitis C? Find out here.

For more information on viral hepatitis, call Hepatitis SA on 1800 437 222 or chat with us at hepsa.asn.au.

For more information on COVID-19, call the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 632 753.

#LetsTalkHep

WORLD HEPATITIS DAY • 28 July