Cases of hepatitis B and C hit 325 million worldwide
Cases of hepatitis B and C hit 325 million worldwide
21 Abril, 2017, 19:30
The report aims to standardize the understanding of the disease, which is a vital starting point for evaluating improvement towards reaching the 2030 goal to eliminate the disease, and reveals the regional and global new baseline data on the impact of viral hepatitis B and C. Some 96 percent of all hepatitis mortality is in the viral B or C forms of the disease.
"For the first time in the history of viral hepatitis, we have an understanding of the true impact of the disease", Charles Gore, president of the World Hepatitis Alliance, said in a press release.
This is partly because infections are not always identified - just 9% of all hepatitis B infections and 20% of all hepatitis C infections were diagnosed in 2015.
WHO's latest data shows that hepatitis C - for which there is no vaccine - is most commonly spread through unsafe injections, notably among drug users. The number of children infected with hepatitis B has been "reduced dramatically", and the number of those children who become chronic carriers of hepatitis B, and thus at risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer, is declining substantially, she said.
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"We have the knowledge, what we need now is action", said Raquel Peck, the CEO of the World Hepatitis Alliance.
For hepatitis B there is a highly effective vaccine, and lifelong treatment, Hinschall said, and for hepatitis C there is a cure.
Hepatitis deaths are comparable to the annual number of people killed every year by tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria combined, according to the report.
To continue the trend with hepatitis, scaling up of birth dose vaccination against hepatitis B is needed.
However, most of the 325 million people infected are completely unaware they have the virus and some lack life-saving medicines. Annually 6-10 million people are newly infected and 1.4 million die due to viral hepatitis.
Hepatitis is often symptom free, but types B and C can trigger liver cirrhosis and cancer if untreated. Some countries reserve the treatment of hepatitis C to those who have advanced infection. The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
Hepatitis E: It's usually caught by consuming food and drink contaminated with the poo of an infected person. With 240+ member organizations from 80 countries, WHA contributes to the global fight against viral hepatitis by running global awareness days, convening high-level policy events, building capacity, and pioneering global movement.WHA works with governments, national members, and other key partners to raise awareness of viral hepatitis and influence global change.
On 1- 3 November, hundreds of policymakers, patients, civil society and public health experts will gather at the World Hepatitis Summit, in Sao Paulo, Brazil to discuss how to fast track the path to elimination.
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