Cases of hepatitis B and C hit 325 million
 
, Posted on 21-Apr-2017


Cases of hepatitis B and C hit 325 million

Geneva : An estimated 325 million people are living with hepatitis B or C and few are aware of their condition, with death tolls from the viruses rising, the UN said Friday. 

The World Health Organization's latest hepatitis report identifies the condition as a grave public health threat that needs an "urgent response."

Hepatitis killed 1.34 million people in 2015, a toll roughly in-line with HIV and tuberculosis. 

But in contrast to HIV and TB, hepatitis deaths are increasing, WHO said, recording a 22 percent mortality rise from 2000 to 2014. 

Hepatitis is often symptom free, but types B and C can trigger liver cirrhosis and cancer if untreated. 

Lack of awareness among those infected is driving the virus's spread. 

For hepatitis B -- which is spread through bodily fluids like blood and semen -- only nine percent of those infected know their status. 

And for hepatitis C, primarily spread through blood, just 20 percent of those infected are aware of their condition. 

Lack of access to testing and treatment leaves "millions of people at risk of a slow progression to chronic liver disease, cancer and death", WHO said in a statement. 

The hepatitis B problem is most acute in the WHO's Western Pacific Region, which includes China, Malaysia and southeast Asia. An estimated 115 million people in the region have the virus. 

Second worst is Africa, with 60 million hepatitis B cases. 

An effective vaccine exists for hepatitis B.   

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.

Europe and the eastern Mediterranean region are afflicted with the most hepatitis C cases at 14 million and 15 million respectively. 

WHO is trying to ramp up the global hepatitis response, aiming to treat some 80 percent of sufferers worldwide by 2030. 

AFP


Related News

Facebook 'ban' of anti-Muslim slur sparks Myanmar outcry
May 29

Facebook 'ban' of anti-Muslim slur sparks Myanmar outcry

Yangon : Myanmar netizens were in an uproar on Monday after Facebook seemingly banned people from posting the word "kalar," often used as a slur against Muslims, at a time of rising Islamophobia in the country. Facebook is under global pressure to clamp down on hate speech, violent threats or deliberately...

Read More
Travolta donates his Qantas plane to Australia museum
May 29

Travolta donates his Qantas plane to Australia museum

Sydney : Hollywood star John Travolta has donated his "beloved" Boeing 707 plane to an Australian aviation museum and is aiming to be part of the crew to deliver the vintage aircraft. Made for Qantas Airways in 1964, the "Saturday Night Fever" heartthrob and qualified pilot acquired the jet when Australia's national...

Read More
Venus set for French Open 20th anniversary
May 28

Venus set for French Open 20th anniversary

Paris : Serena Williams may be missing from this year's French Open, but big sister Venus is still going strong and marks her Roland Garros 20th anniversary on Sunday. Three weeks shy of her 37th birthday, the American star, who made her debut in the French capital in 1997, kicks off her latest campaign against...

Read More
Google linking online and offline worlds in new ad challenge
May 28

Google linking online and offline worlds in new ad challenge

San Francisco : Google is testing a way to tie online ads to brick-and-mortar store purchases, a move whetting marketing appetites while fueling privacy worries. A product called "Google Attribution" was unveiled at a marketing conference this month in San Francisco by the internet giant. Google has long been...

Read More
Hitman film and AIDS drama tipped to win at Cannes
May 28

Hitman film and AIDS drama tipped to win at Cannes

Cannes : The Cannes film festival ends Sunday with a movie about a hammer-wielding hitman, a rousing story of AIDS activists and a parable of Putin's Russia among the favourites to lift its top prize, the Palme d'Or.  After 12 days of screenings and starry celebrations of the festival's 70th anniversary --...

Read More
Sacred Muslim month of Ramadan starts
May 27

Sacred Muslim month of Ramadan starts

Riyadh : The world's nearly 1.5 billion Muslims on Saturday began Ramadan, the holy month of dawn-to-dusk fasting and prayers. It is sacred to Muslims because tradition says the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed during that month. Here are four questions and answers about Ramadan:

Read More
Apple opens first official store in SE Asia
May 27

Apple opens first official store in SE Asia

Singapore : Apple opened its first Southeast Asia store in Singapore on Saturday, drawing hundreds of excited fans to the swanky two-storey site in the city's upmarket shopping district. Located on the affluent Orchard Road, the new shop -- easily distinguished by its iconic glass facade -- is expected to be one...

Read More
Italy's 'Queen of Cashmere' Biagiotti dies aged 73
May 26

Italy's 'Queen of Cashmere' Biagiotti dies aged 73

Rome : Italian fashion designer Laura Biagiotti, who pioneered the marketing of cashmere products in places such as China and the former Soviet Union, has died aged 73, her company said Friday. The veteran designer suffered brain damage following a heart attack late on Wednesday, and died early on...

Read More
13 years after quitting, Zuckerberg gets Harvard degree
May 26

13 years after quitting, Zuckerberg gets Harvard degree

Washington : Thirteen years after dropping out of Harvard University to work on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday finally got his degree -- well, sort of. Zuckerberg returned to the university where he launched what would become the world's biggest social network, and basked in the spotlight by...

Read More
 Disney's beloved 'Bambi,' still breaking hearts at 75
May 25

Disney's beloved 'Bambi,' still breaking hearts at 75

Los Angeles : A timeless tale of an adorable fawn and his forest pals, or the death of childhood innocence? Either way, and nearly 75 years on, Disney classic "Bambi" packs as powerful a punch as it ever has. The Walt Disney Company bewitched generations of children and children-at-heart with its...

Read More