Viral Hepatitis

Author: Stefan Wiktor

Deaths from hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are increasing, with the burden of hepatitis infection most significant in West Africa and East Asia and South Asia. Hepatitis B and C chronic infections can be treated effectively, with new direct acting antiviral (DAA) medicines for HCV able to cure more than 90 percent of those with chronic infection and effective antiviral treatments able to suppress viral replication and prevent disease progression in HBV. Hepatitis A and E infections can be prevented through improved sanitation. The most notable achievement in hepatitis prevention comes from the reduction in incidence of acute and chronic hepatitis B infection as a result of the universal childhood hepatitis B vaccination. If country-level investment and action occur, it is estimated that HBV and HCV can be eliminated as major public health threats by 2030.