WHO Releases First Global Report On Hepatitis, Calls For ‘Urgent Response’ To Prevent, Treat Viruses That Killed 1.34M People In 2015

BBC News: Global plan to wipe out hepatitis
“Countries must work together to wipe out viral hepatitis — a disease that is killing as many people globally as HIV and TB, says the World Health Organization (WHO). The death toll in 2015 was 1.34 million people, a new report reveals. An estimated 325 million people are living with chronic hepatitis caused by B or C virus infection…” (4/21).

Reuters: WHO urges action over growing hepatitis epidemic
“…In its first global report on the infection, the WHO said that with millions at risk of a slow progression to chronic liver disease, cancer, and premature death, swift action on testing and treatment was needed. ‘Viral hepatitis is now a major public health challenge that requires an urgent response,’ the WHO’s Director-General Margaret Chan said in a statement…” (Kelland, 4/21).

ScienceInsider: New report halves the number of people infected with hepatitis C worldwide
“…WHO’s Global Hepatitis Report estimates that 71 million people in 2015 were living with HCV, down from an earlier estimate of 130 million to 150 million. As the report explains, the dramatic drop occurred primarily because of tests that measured HCV’s genetic material, RNA, in people. Previous epidemiological surveys tested whether people had antibodies against the virus, which is less precise. The report estimates that 257 million people are infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), a number very close to previous estimates. … Together, the viruses killed 1.34 million people in 2015, which the report notes is comparable to deaths from tuberculosis and higher than those from HIV/AIDS…” (Cohen, 4/21).

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