July 28, 2013 – World Hepatitis Day

This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it.

July 28, 2013 is World Hepatitis Day. This is an event sponsored by the World Hepatitis Alliance with help from the World Health Organization (WHO).

The word “hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is most often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common types are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis. One of the most common causes of chronic (long-term) hepatitis is viral hepatitis, such as Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Together, Hepatitis B and C kill approximately one million people a year. Worldwide, 500 million people are currently infected with chronic Hepatitis B or C, and one in three people have been exposed to one or both viruses. Unlike Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B can be prevented through effective vaccination.

For more information on hepatitis, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Hepatitis Alliance.