April 14, 2024

World Hepatitis Day-July 28, 2023

Nathan Christian – Regional Epidemiologist

World Hepatitis day is celebrated annually on July 28th which is the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg (1925–2011), who discovered the hepatitis B virus in 1967, and 2 years later he developed the first hepatitis B vaccine. Dr. Blumberg won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1976. Organizations around the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and The CDC, commemorate World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, which impacts more than 354 million people worldwide.

Viral Hepatitis is the infectious diseases that include Hepatitis A,B,C,D,E, and cause both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) liver disease. Viral hepatitis causes more than one million deaths world wide each year.

Most commonly in southern Ohio is Hepatitis B, and C. In 2022, Meigs county had over 30 cases of Hepatitis B and C total, and so far in 2023, there are already 15 cases of the two diseases total.

This years call to action on World Hepatitis Day is “We’re not waiting”, calling on individuals to get tested for Hepatitis to protect themselves and their families. Getting tested for Hepatitis could save yourself, or someone you love.

Visit worldhepatitisday.org for more information on how to protect yourself and loved ones from a disease that has had a profound impact on Meigs county, and southern Ohio as a whole. Additionally, the Meigs County Health Department offers the Hepatitis B vaccine to all ages regardless of insurance coverage. The vaccine is offered Monday through Friday from 8AM to Noon and from 1PM to 4PM. Please call 740-992-6626 if you have any questions.