Hepatitis: As Deadly as AIDS or TB
According to a recent study published in Lancet, hepatitis and complications related to hepatitis infections causes about as many deaths worldwide each year as AIDS and tuberculosis. The World Health Organization has issued a global strategy for fighting viral hepatitis—for which there are vaccines and treatments available.
There are 5 forms of viral hepatitis—hep A, hep B, and hep C, for example. Some forms of the infection are spread through contaminated food and water, and other types are transmitted via contact with infected bodily fluids, such as saliva and semen. Hepatitis B and C can cause serious liver damage and an increased risk for liver cancer.
Alarmingly, while worldwide deaths from conditions like TB and malaria have dropped, deaths from hepatitis have risen 60% in the past two decades. The WHO initiative is focused on expanding vaccination programs, preventing mother-child transmission, and improving access to hepatitis treatment.
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