World Hepatitis Day is observed each year on July 28th. The World Health Organization created this public health holiday to raise global awareness of prevention, testing, and treatment of hepatitis – an inflammation of the liver that can cause a range of health problems, including liver cancer. This year’s theme is “hepatitis can’t wait”, which emphasizes the pressing need to act on viral hepatitis now. People living with viral hepatitis can’t wait for testing; people living with hepatitis can’t wait for life saving treatments; newborn babies can’t wait for birth dose vaccination; and expectant mothers can’t wait for screening and treatment.
Viral hepatitis affects 400 million people around the world, with a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness. 95% of people with hepatitis don’t know they have the disease because there are often no early symptoms. There are five main hepatitis viruses – types A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis B and C are the most common cause of deaths with 1.3 million lives lost each year.
Read about hepatitis A, B and C to learn about prevention and treatment, and watch the video below with Dr. Roderick Kreisberg and Dr. Darryn Potosky to find out why hepatitis C is called the “Silent Killer.”