Hepatitis Awareness Week is observed from July 26 to August 1, and it is a week dedicated to uniting the community and making sure that the voices of people suffering from hepatitis are heard by all. It is also a day to celebrate the progress made in medicine for the infection. Did you know that viral hepatitis causes over one million deaths each year? Hepatitis can be both viral and non-viral. Non-viral hepatitis can be caused by medications, heavy alcohol intake, and toxins. It can also occur due to autoimmune diseases.
History of Hepatitis Awareness Week
Five viruses, discovered between 1963 and 1989, were found to be the cause of viral hepatitis worldwide, namely: Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis B virus (H.B.V.), Hepatitis C virus (H.C.V.), Hepatitis delta virus, and Hepatitis E virus. The first description of the Hepatitis A or jaundice epidemic is mentioned by Hippocrates. Hepatitis A (outbreak of jaundice) was also reported in 17th and 18th-century military campaigns. In the 1940s, Hepatitis A was first differentiated from Hepatitis B, which is reported to have a longer incubation period. The development of serologic tests (blood tests to detect the presence of antibodies) and identification of viruses helped in the differentiation of Hepatitis A from other types of Hepatitis viruses.
Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C cause over 80% of all liver cancer. Transmission of the Hepatitis C virus is primarily through exposure to infected blood. Risks for transmission include intravenous drug use, high-risk sexual activity, birth to an infected mother, etc. Almost every patient with Hepatitis C eventually develops the antibody to H.C.V., but it can be low or almost undetectable in immunodeficient patients.
In 1981, the F.D.A. approved plasma-derived Hepatitis B vaccine for human use, and by 1986, second-generation D.N.A. recombinant Hepatitis B vaccines were produced. These new vaccines were synthetically prepared, and they are completely approved in the United States.
Hepatitis Awareness Week timeline
The first clinical features of Hepatitis are written by Hippocrates, in his treaty “De Morbis Internis,” as an illness characterized by episodes of jaundice.
Mac Callum suggests the first distinction between epidemic Hepatitis with a short incubation and serum Hepatitis with a long incubation.
Mario Rizetto in Torino identifies Hepatitis delta virus by liver immunostaining.
Vaccines are approved for human use by the F.D.A.
Hepatitis Awareness Week FAQs
When is National Hepatitis Day?
National Hepatitis Day is observed annually on July 28.
Which color represents Hepatitis C?
Red and yellow are the colors of Hepatitis C.
Why do we celebrate Hepatitis Day?
We observe Hepatitis Day on July 28 to raise awareness about Hepatitis and to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg, who discovered Hepatitis B and developed a vaccine for it.
How to Observe Hepatitis Awareness Week
Do your part by raising awareness about Hepatitis. Get on social media and reach the masses.
Start a fundraiser
Conduct an event in your backyard and raise money for this noble cause. Hold music shows, sports events, etc. to entertain people and raise money.
Get educated and learn more about the disease. Learn how what to expect with Hepatitis and spread the information.
5 Interesting Facts About Hepatitis B
It affects more than 300 million people
Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C affect more than 300 million people worldwide.
Viral hepatitis can be prevented
Vaccines for Hepatitis B are completely safe and very effective.
1.5 million get affected each year
Over 1.5 million get newly affected by Hepatitis B.
Over 25% of infected individuals are diagnosed
In America, only 25% of the total cases get diagnosed.
1% of persons also have H.I.V.
1% of persons with H.B.V. virus also have H.I.V.
Why Hepatitis Awareness Week is Important
It explains the urgency of treatment
As hepatitis attacks the liver, the damages can become a medical emergency. Hepatitis Awareness Week proclaims the urgency of treatment for patients.
It brings the community together
Hepatitis Awareness Week brings the community together to support and give tribute to the patients. The community brings immense support to people struggling with hepatitis.
Hepatitis Awareness Week raises awareness
This week is full of vital events, but most importantly, it spreads information about hepatitis, which can help thousands of people. Everything from symptoms to treatment, hepatitis awareness week helps all forms of information to reach people in any way possible.
Hepatitis Awareness Week dates