World Hepatitis Day 2015

Did you know that worldwide, viral hepatitis is among the top 10 infectious disease killers? More than one million people die each year from chronic viral hepatitis, and these deaths are primarily from cirrhosis or liver cancer caused by hepatitis B and hepatitis C. In fact, chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C cause approximately 80 percent of the world’s liver cancer.

Today is World Hepatitis Day, recognized annually on the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg (1925–2011). Dr. Blumberg discovered the hepatitis B virus in 1967 and developed the first hepatitis B vaccine two years later. 

Organizations around the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), use World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness of the problem and what needs to be done to strengthen efforts in prevention, screening and control of viral hepatitis. CDC offers several resources for World Hepatitis Day.

The CDC Foundation supports CDC’s work in viral hepatitis through the Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition, a public-private partnership developed to help CDC make meaningful advances in the prevention, screening, linkage to care and treatment of viral hepatitis. Coalition members help support crucial CDC-led research and programs and amplify CDC’s messages to the public to increase overall awareness of viral hepatitis.

Visit CDC’s website for more information about viral hepatitis.


Claire Stinson is a senior communications officer for the CDC Foundation.