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World Hepatitis Day

Tuesday, July 28th is World Hepatitis Day. Viral hepatitis — a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E — affects millions of people worldwide, causing both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) liver disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) data show an estimated 257 million people living with chronic hepatitis B and 71 million people living with chronic hepatitis C worldwide. Viral hepatitis causes more than one million deaths each year. While deaths from tuberculosis and HIV have been declining, deaths from hepatitis are increasing.

This day is an opportunity to learn the global burden of this disease, CDC’s efforts to combat viral hepatitis around the world, and actions individuals can take. You can take several steps to prevent catching or spreading the virus.

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom and when you come in contact with an infected person's blood, stools, or other bodily fluid

  • Avoid raw shellfish

  • Beware of sliced fruit that may have been washed in contaminated water

  • DO NOT buy food from street vendors

  • Use only carbonated bottled water for brushing teeth and drinking in areas where the water may be unsafe. (Remember that ice cubes can carry infection)

  • If no water is available, boiling water is the best method for eliminating hepatitis A. Bringing the water to a full boil for at least 1 minute generally makes it safe to drink

  • Heated food should be hot to the touch and eaten right away