World Hepatitis Day — July 28, 2016

Article Metrics
Related Materials

World Hepatitis Day, recognized on July 28, was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness and promote understanding of viral hepatitis, the seventh leading cause of death worldwide (1). Together, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are responsible for most of the 1.4 million annual deaths attributed to viral hepatitis (1). In April 2016, the 69th World Health Assembly adopted a Global Viral Hepatitis Strategy that aims to eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C as public health threats by 2030 (1). The strategy includes prevention and treatment targets that, when met, will save millions of lives.

This issue of MMWR features a report revealing the growing risk for perinatal transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the United States, a risk most pronounced in areas where HCV incidence is increasing among young adults and women of childbearing age. Vaccination-based strategies are highly effective in preventing perinatal hepatitis B virus transmission (2). The report highlights that, in the absence of a vaccine for HCV, there is an immediate need to improve risk screening, scale up HCV testing among persons at risk, including children born to HCV-infected mothers, as recommended by CDC and the United States Preventive Services Task Force, and improve case reporting, particularly among women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy. Additional information and resources are available at


  1. World Health Organization. Draft global health sector strategies: viral hepatitis, 2016–2021. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2016. iconexternal icon
  2. Mast EE, Margolis HS, Fiore AE, et al. A comprehensive immunization strategy to eliminate transmission of hepatitis B virus infection in the United States: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) part 1: immunization of infants, children, and adolescents. MMWR Recomm Rep 2005;54(No. RR-16). PubMedexternal icon

Suggested citation for this article: World Hepatitis Day — July 28, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:705. DOI: icon.

MMWR and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All HTML versions of MMWR articles are generated from final proofs through an automated process. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version ( and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables.

Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

View Page In:pdf icon
Page last reviewed: August 24, 2017