Viral hepatitis kills about 1.5 million people throughout the world each year. To put that in perspective, it's more than three times the number of annual deaths worldwide from breast cancer, but much less awareness is brought to viral hepatitis. July 28 has been designated World Hepatitis Day to get people involved in lowering the viral hepatitis risk by calling for global access to treatment, better prevention programs and governmental action.

Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. While all five hepatitis viruses—hepatitis A, B, C, D and E—cause at least short-term infection, hepatitis B, C and D can cause chronic infection leading to life-threatening complications such as cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. According to a new City of Hope study, vaccinating against hepatitis B may have a second benefit of lowering some people’s risk of contracting diabetes.

On Facebook or Twitter, you can join the “Thunderclap” to post or tweet about World Hepatitis Day and add your voice to the movement.