May 19, 2020

The Schaffner Report: Hepatitis Edition

Viral hepatitis is sometimes called a hidden epidemic because it is possible to be infected for years and not know it. Hepatitis A, B, and C are each caused by a different virus and are spread in different ways, but they all affect the liver and can cause serious health problems.

Fortunately, there are effective vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B, and effective treatment for hepatitis C. All children and certain adults should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B. All adults should be tested for hepatitis C at least once in their lifetimes, and pregnant women should be tested during each pregnancy.

To help raise awareness about hepatitis, the month of May has been designated as Hepatitis Awareness Month in the US, and May 19 as Hepatitis Testing Day. In this edition of the Schaffner Report, William Schaffner, MD, Medical Director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), talks with NFID Executive Director and CEO, Marla Dalton, CAE, about the differences between hepatitis A, B, and C and steps that individuals can take to help protect themselves:

To learn more about hepatitis, visit To help spread the word about hepatitis B, view the NFID Hepatitis B Awareness Toolkit.

To join the conversation and get the latest news on infectious diseases, follow NFID on Twitter using the hashtags #PreventHepatitis and #HepAware2020; like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, join the NFID Linkedin Group, and subscribe to receive future NFID Updates.