July 28th is World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day takes place every year on July 28th. The significance of this date all has to do with Dr. Baruch Blumberg, the person who discovered the hepatitis B virus in 1967. Two years later, he developed the first hepatitis B vaccine. He went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1976. We feel so grateful for all of the research and work he contributed.A red and yellow ribbin next to a globe with the words World Hepatitis Day 28th July.

Blumberg passed away in 2011, but we raise awareness of hepatitis through World Hepatitis Day every year on his birthday, July 28th.

More than a million lives are lost due to hepatitis each year. 

Viral hepatitis affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Several variants, including hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E, cause acute or chronic inflammation of the liver. Unfortunately, deaths from hepatitis are on the rise, which is why raising awareness about prevention, screening, and treatment is crucial.

Many people hear the word “hepatitis” and immediately think of it as a sexually transmitted infection, or STI. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are the only variants transmitted through sexual contact. In contrast, hepatitis A transmits through contaminated food and water consumption. Fortunately, we have vaccines for hepatitis A and B, which greatly contributes to the prevention efforts.

The primary methods of preventing hepatitis include:

  • Vaccinations
  • Good hygiene practices
  • Safe food and water practices
  • Safe sex practices
  • Sterile equipment to ensure safe medical procedures
  • Avoidance of sharing needles or drug paraphernalia
  • Taking precautions when traveling to areas where hepatitis A or E is common

Timely diagnosis and appropriate medical management help prevent transmission and vastly reduce the burden of hepatitis.

The first line of defense against hepatitis is prevention. From there, it’s important to make testing and treatments available to all. The Medical Group of New Jersey actively participates in ending the stigma associated with hepatitis through the work of our infectious disease doctor in New Jersey. We encourage you to get tested for hepatitis to protect yourself and your family. Contact us to learn more.