On July 28, world Hepatitis Day is annually celebrated every year. It is celebrated every year in order to spread awareness about viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that can cause severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer.
Hepatitis is a group of infectious diseases known by its various variants, like A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis is commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are several risk factors, such as excessive consumption of alcohol, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions.
The liver is one of the most vital organs of our body and plays a major role in the digestion process. Any damage caused to the liver ultimately affects the entire functioning of the body. Hepatitis refers to a highly contagious liver infection that causes inflammation of the liver in which tissues react to irritation or injury which generally results in swelling and pain. This happens due to a variety of infectious viruses and non-infectious agents leading to a range of health problems, some of which can even be fatal. There are many causes of hepatitis in which viral hepatitis is a major one. Viral hepatitis is caused by a virus and can either be acute or chronic.
This day is marked on July 28 on the birthday of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr Baruch Blumberg to honor him. He discovered the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). He also developed a diagnostic test and vaccine to treat the Hep-B virus.
In 2021, the theme is ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait’, conveying the urgency of efforts needed to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.