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| Last Updated: 11/12/2019

Upcoming Event

Past Event

World Hepatitis Day - 28th July

 

Viral hepatitis B and C affect 325 million people worldwide causing 1.4 million deaths a year. It is the second major killer infectious disease after tuberculosis, and 9 times more people are infected with hepatitis than HIV. Hepatitis is preventable, treatable, and in the case of hepatitis C, curable. However, over 80% of people living with hepatitis are lacking prevention, testing and treatment services.

During World Hepatitis Day 2019 campaign, WHO is urging all countries and partners to promote the theme “Invest in eliminating hepatitis”. WHO will release new estimates for additional investments needed to achieve globally agreed hepatitis elimination goals by 2030, in the context of the universal health coverage. The host country for World Hepatitis Day 2019 is Pakistan. The global events will be held in Islamabad, Pakistan on 27-28 July 2019.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). The virus is primarily spread when an uninfected (and unvaccinated) person ingests food or water that is contaminated with the faces of an infected person. The disease is closely associated with unsafe water or food, inadequate sanitation, poor personal hygiene and oral-anal sex.

Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A does not cause chronic liver disease and is rarely fatal, but it can cause debilitating symptoms and fulminant hepatitis (acute liver failure), which is often fatal. Overall, WHO estimated that in 2016, 7 134 persons died from hepatitis A worldwide (accounting for 0.5% of the mortality due to viral hepatitis).

Hepatitis A occurs sporadically and in epidemics worldwide, with a tendency for cyclic recurrences. The hepatitis A virus is one of the most frequent causes of foodborne infection. Epidemics related to contaminated food or water can erupt explosively, such as the epidemic in Shanghai in 1988 that affected about 300 000 people1. They can be also prolonged, affecting communities for months through person-to-person transmission. Hepatitis A viruses persist in the environment and can withstand food-production processes routinely used to inactivate and/or control bacterial pathogens.

During World Hepatitis Day 2019 campaign, WHO is urging all countries and partners to promote the theme “Invest in eliminating hepatitis”. WHO will release new estimates for additional investments needed to achieve globally agreed hepatitis elimination goals by 2030, in the context of the universal health coverage. The host country for World Hepatitis Day 2019 is Pakistan. The global events will be held in Islamabad, Pakistan on 27-28 July 2019.

Key facts

•   Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness.

•   The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person.

•  Almost everyone recovers fully from hepatitis A with a lifelong immunity. However, a very small proportion of people infected with hepatitis A could die from fulminate hepatitis.

• WHO estimates that hepatitis A caused approximately 7 134 deaths in 2016 (accounting for 0.5% of the mortality due to viral hepatitis).

• The risk of hepatitis A infection is associated with a lack of safe water, and poor sanitation and hygiene (such as dirty hands).

•  In countries where the risk of infection from food or water is low, there are outbreaks among men who have sex with men (MSM) and persons who inject drugs (PWIDs).

• Epidemics can be prolonged and cause substantial economic loss.

• A safe and effective vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis A.

•  Safe water supply, food safety, improved sanitation, hand washing and the hepatitis A vaccine are the most effective ways to combat the disease. Persons at high risk, such as travelers to countries with high levels of infection, MSM and PWIDs can get vaccinated.

Read More: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-hepatitis-day/2019