Hepatitis B and C tests can save lives

Hepatitis B and C tests save lives | Courtesy of
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said Monday that approximately 50,000 people are diagnosed with hepatitis B and C each year, potentially saving their lives, but millions remain unaware that they have hepatitis B and C infections.

When people do not receive treatments for these infections, they can develop irreversible liver damage. Additionally, health experts have stated that hepatitis A is becoming a re-emerging threat to European health.

Health professionals have reported that it is a public health challenge to test people who are at the highest risk for hepatitis infections in Europe. This is why there is now a European HIV-Hepatitis Testing week, which will also include tests for viral hepatitis.

“In Europe, an estimated 10 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B and C but most of these individuals do not know of their infection,” ECDC Acting Director Andrea Ammon said. “A quick blood test helps to check if you are infected or not. Especially those most at-risk for hepatitis should have easy access to testing, for example men who have sex with men or people who inject drugs. After the diagnosis, the actual stage of liver disease and eligibility for treatment can be assessed.”

“Viral hepatitis is preventable and curable,” Ammon said. “Vaccination is the most effective individual measure to protect yourself against hepatitis A and B. And hepatitis C can be cured, especially if it is detected and treated early.”

Organizations in this story

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control SE-171 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Get notified the next time we write about European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control!