Learn more about World Hepatitis Day and how viral hepatitis impacts millions of people worldwide.
World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is recognized annually on July 28th, the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg (1925–2011). Dr. Blumberg discovered the hepatitis B virus in 1967, and 2 years later he developed the first hepatitis B vaccine. These achievements culminated in Dr. Blumberg winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1976. Organizations around the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC, commemorate WHD to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, which impacts more than 354 million people worldwide. WHD creates an opportunity to educate people about the burden of these infections, CDC’s efforts to combat viral hepatitis around the world, and actions people can take to prevent these infections.
Viral hepatitis — a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E — affects millions of people worldwide, causing both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) liver disease. Viral hepatitis causes more than one million deaths each year. While deaths from tuberculosis and HIV have been declining, deaths from hepatitis are increasing.
The vision of CDC is to eliminate viral hepatitis in the United States and globally. CDC collaborates with international partners to help countries experiencing high rates of infection to prevent, control, and eliminate viral hepatitis.