July 24, 2015 / 64(28);753
July 28, 2015, marks the fifth annual World Hepatitis Day,
established in 2010 by the World Health Organization to increase
awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis. Millions of acute
hepatitis infections occur each year, and approximately 400 million
persons are living with chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C (1). An estimated 1.4 million persons die each year from the various forms of viral hepatitis (1).
The theme of this year's World Hepatitis Day is "Prevent Hepatitis. Act
Now." Key messages will focus on risks, safe injection practices,
vaccination, and testing and treatment.
This issue of MMWR includes a report describing the launch
of a nationwide hepatitis C elimination program in Georgia, a country
with a high burden of hepatitis C. The initial phase of the program is
focused on increasing access to affordable diagnostics, free treatment
of persons with severe liver disease who are at highest risk for
hepatitis C–related morbidity and mortality with new curative regimens,
and building capacity to achieve program goals of prevention of
transmission and elimination of disease. Georgia's program might provide
information and experience that can inform similar efforts in other
parts of the world.
A second report summarizes viral hepatitis surveillance and
outbreak data from a national surveillance system in India for
epidemic-prone diseases. This report sheds light on the burden and
epidemiology of acute viral hepatitis in India, particularly hepatitis A
and E, and highlights the important role that routine hepatitis
surveillance can play in guiding prevention efforts.
Additional information about World Hepatitis Day is available at http://worldhepatitisday.org. Resources for health professionals are available at http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis.
- World Health Organization. Hepatitis. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2015. Available at http://www.who.int/hiv/topics/hepatitis/hepatitisinfo/en.
Labels: World Hepatitis Day