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World Hepatitis Day is on July 28. By Our Student Pharmacist, Torie VonSeggern.

Image 1 - Liver

World Hepatitis Day is celebrated on July 28 to raise awareness about hepatitis, a variety of liver diseases, which affect people all over the world.

July 28 is the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg who discovered hepatitis B in 1967 and developed the first hepatitis B vaccine.

What is Hepatitis?

Viral hepatitis is a group of infectious diseases, hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E, that cause both short-term and long-term liver disease. These diseases cause more than one million deaths per year and deaths have continued to increase over the years.

Image 2 - ABCDE

Different Types of Hepatitis

Hepatitis is commonly spread through ingestion or contact with a contaminated substance with one of the five viruses. Each virus is different and different steps can be taken to protect and treat each virus.

Hepatitis A – Hepatitis A Virus (HAV)

  • Found in stool and blood and is very contagious
  • Spread by ingesting virus from contaminated food or drink
  • Symptoms: fatigue, nausea, stomach pain, and jaundice (yellowing of skin/whites of eyes)
  • Short-term, typically less than 2 month duration
  • Vaccine preventable
  • Treatment includes rest, hydration, and proper nutrition

Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B Virus (HBV)

  • Found in blood, semen, or other body fluids
  • Spread via sexual contact, sharing injectable equipment, mother to baby at birth
  • Symptoms: fatigue, poor appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice
  • Typically short-term, but can become long-term; risk is based on age: 90% of infants become chronic and 2-6% of adults become chronic
  • Vaccine preventable
  • Treatment includes rest, hydration, and proper nutrition; medically monitoring of liver function is important

Hepatitis C – Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

  • Found in blood
  • Spread via blood, most commonly through shared injectable equipment
  • No symptoms; symptoms tend to be a sign of advanced liver disease
  • Short-term initially, but 50% of patients turn chronic without treatment
  • No vaccine; prevent by avoiding behaviors and getting tested
  • Treatments available can cure a patient in 8 to 12 weeks

Hepatitis D – Hepatitis D Virus (HDV)

  • Found in blood or other body fluids
  • Spread via contact with blood or fluids specifically in patient’s already infected with HBV
  • Symptoms: Same as HBV; severe symptoms/serious illness can lead to life-long liver damage and even death
  • Can be short-term or long-term
  • No direct vaccine for HDV, but prevention of HBV prevents HDV
  • There are no current treatments available, but new treatments are being tested

Hepatitis E – Hepatitis E Virus (HEV)

  • Found in stool
  • Spread via ingestion from contaminated drinking water, raw or undercooked pork, venison, wild boar meat, or shellfish
  • Symptoms: fatigue, poor appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice; many people do not have symptoms at all
  • Most people fully recover without complications, with the exception of immunocompromised patients
  • No vaccine is available in the US
  • Treatment includes rest, hydration, and proper nutrition

Image 3 - Symptoms

How to Prevent the Spread of Hepatitis

  • Get vaccinated!
    • Both hepatitis A and B have vaccines available and there is even a combined A and B vaccine. Vaccinating is the best way to protect yourself from hepatitis A, B, and D.
  • Wash your hands!
    • Both hepatitis A and E can be spread through contamination of food and water. Wash hands frequently, especially prior to preparing food.
  • Drink purified water when possible!
    • Both hepatitis A and E can be prevented by drinking purified, uncontaminated water. This is not typically a concern in the United States, but if traveling, and purified water is not available, try boiling the water prior to consumption.
  • Get tested!
    • Testing for hepatitis B and C is recommended in a variety of situations which include:
      • Pregnant women
      • People who inject drugs
      • People with HIV
      • People with abnormal liver tests or liver disease
      • People with end-stage renal disease
      • Known exposure
      • Hepatitis B: Men who have sex with men, people born outside of the US and not vaccinated, or people with hepatitis C
      • Hepatitis C: received blood or organs before July 1992, clotting factor before 1987, or people with hepatitis B
    • Testing for hepatitis A, D, and E is only recommended if you are experiencing symptoms. Your health-care provider will determine if a test is appropriate based on symptoms.

There are many places to get vaccinated and tested. Vaccines are available at your local pharmacy including Plain City Druggist and Happy Druggist Pharmacy, your doctor’s office, or other local healthcare centers. Testing is also available at most doctor’s offices or healthcare centers.

Please visit https://www.columbus.gov/publichealth/programs/Hepatitis-Testing/ for more information on testing within Columbus.

Coming Soon: Happy Druggist Pharmacy on Karl Road will be providing Hepatitis C testing in the near future. Watch for updates on an upcoming community outreach event coming soon!


  1. A Quick Guide to Hepatitis. OnHealth. https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/hepatitis_causes_treatment Published March 15, 2022. Accessed July 22, 2022.
  2. Hepatitis: The Silent Killer. Health Plus. https://www.parkwayeast.com.sg/healthplus/article/hepatitis-silent-killerPublished December 6, 2018. Accessed July 22, 2022.
  3. The ABC’s of Hepatitis: Know and Fight the Viral Disease. Mindray. https://www.mindray.com/en/media-center/blogs/the-abc-s-of-hepatitis-know-and-fight-the-viral-disease Published July 28, 2017. Accessed July 22, 2022.
  4. Viral Hepatitis A Q&As for the Public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/afaq.htm Accessed July 25, 2022.
  5. Viral Hepatitis B Q&As for the Public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/bfaq.htm Accessed July 25, 2022.
  6. Viral Hepatitis C Q&As for the Public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm Accessed July 25, 2022.
  7. Viral Hepatitis D Q&As for the Public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hdv/dfaq.htm Accessed July 25, 2022.
  8. Viral Hepatitis E Q&As for the Public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hev/efaq.htm Accessed July 25, 2022.
  9. World Hepatitis Day. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/awareness/worldhepday.htm Reviewed July 19, 2021. Accessed July 22, 2022.
  10. World Hepatitis Day – July 28, 2022. National Today. https://nationaltoday.com/world-hepatitis-day/ Accessed July 22, 2022.
  11. World Hepatitis Day 28 July. World Hepatitis Day. https://www.worldhepatitisday.org/ Accessed July 22, 2022.

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