Could the coronavirus pandemic fuel the global spread of hepatitis? Every year, more than 1 million people die from liver cancer and cirrhosis, which are caused by viral hepatitis. The numbers are staggering for a disease for which vaccines and a treatment is now available. The World Health Organization wants to eliminate hepatitis by 2030, but some experts are now asking whether the Covid-19 pandemic could derail that goal. There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. All hepatitis pathogens, except for C, are preventable through vaccination. According to the WHO, millions of sufferers are unaware of the disease, which slowly creeps up on them with an inflammation of the liver they are unaware of. The lack of testing also means many cases are discovered too late. A and E spread through poor food hygiene, dirty water and lack of sanitation. The rest – B, C and D – are all spread via blood, semen and other bodily fluids.
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