World Hepatitis Day is a public health holiday each year to raise awareness about Hepatitis. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Viruses cause most cases of Hepatitis. The type of Hepatitis is named for the virus that causes it. You can get it through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. In the U.S., it is most often spread through unprotected sex. It is also possible to get Hepatitis B by sharing an infected person’s needles, razors, or toothbrushes. An infected mother can even pass the virus to her baby during childbirth.
World Hepatitis Day is on July 28th to commemorate the birthday of Baruch Samuel Blumberg, an American physician who discovered hepatitis B in the 1960s. Blumberg received the Nobel Prize for discovering the virus and the development of its diagnostic test and vaccine.
You can be tested for Hepatitis through a simple blood test. Hepatitis is a global epidemic that can affect anyone, anywhere. It’s estimated that about 400 million people are infected by Hepatitis worldwide. There are vaccines for both hepatitis A and B. At an early age, many people in developing countries automatically get these vaccines from their doctors. Hepatitis C is easily treated, and Hepatitis D and E are very rare.
This year, the theme of World Hepatitis Day is “Find the Missing Millions.” According to World Hepatitis Day, “Worldwide, 290 million people are living with viral hepatitis unaware. Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost. On World Hepatitis Day, July 28th, we call on people from across the world to take action and raise awareness to find the ‘missing millions”. A way to help reach the mission of World Hepatitis Day is to get tested, make sure you are vaccinated, and encourage your family to do the same.
At First Care Clinics, we encourage all of our patients to get blood tests regularly to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. Please stop by our walk-in clinics, or check-in online, to see a Nurse Practitioner and make sure you are doing your part for World Hepatitis Day.