World Hepatitis Day 2017: Eliminate Hepatitis

World Hepatitis Day 2017: Eliminate Hepatitis

World Hepatitis Day 2017: Eliminate Hepatitis

World Hepatitis Day 2017: Eliminate Hepatitis

World Hepatitis Day, held on 28 July 2017, highlights the global initiative to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. To support the campaign, we have collated a Virtual Special Issue featuring a range of cutting-edge hepatitis research across several journals.

Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by viruses, which typically spread through infected drinking water or bodily fluids. The disease kills approximately 1.4 million people worldwide every year. About 325 million people are infected, of which 240 million suffer from chronic hepatitis B, while 80 million people have chronic hepatitis C. Staggeringly, 95% of those infected are unaware of their illness, and less than 1% access treatment.

Chronically infected patients who don't access appropriate diagnosis or treatment services could eventually develop cirrhosis, liver cancer or other liver diseases. In many cases, doctors can easily prevent the disease using vaccines, or treat it using antiviral drugs.

The World Health Organization's Global Strategy on Viral Hepatitis aims to eradicate the disease by 2030, and has spawned the NOhep campaign to raise publicity. The strategy provides a set of testing, prevention and treatment milestones for governments. If governments can meet these targets, then more people will be vaccinated and treated, resulting in a 65% drop in hepatitis deaths, and saving 7.1 million lives by 2030.

Tackling hepatitis involves scientists finding new ways to diagnose the disease and developing new vaccines and treatments. Their contribution is crucial to ending hepatitis. We want to highlight the rich array of key research taking place which aims to understand, detect and treat hepatitis. This Virtual Special Issue covers hepatitis diagnostics, vaccines, antiviral treatments, treatment resistance, clinical practice guidelines, awareness, prevalence, susceptibility and more. We'd like to invite scientists from this discipline to contribute their research to end hepatitis.