GLOBAL HEPATITIS REPORT 2024 (Syllabus GS Paper 2 – Health)

News-CRUX-10     10th April 2024        
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Context: According to the recently released 2024 Global Hepatitis Report by the World Health Organization, India recently accounted for over 3.5 lakh cases of viral hepatitis in 2022, representing 11.6 percent of the global disease burden for that year.

Key Findings of Report

  • Over 50,000 new cases of Hepatitis B and 1.4 lakh new cases of Hepatitis C were reported in India in 2022.
  • These infections resulted in the deaths of 1.23 lakh individuals in India during the same year.
  • Ten countries, including India, bear nearly two-thirds of the global burden of hepatitis B and C, as reported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, and Vietnam are among the countries targeted for intensified efforts and support.

Hepatitis B

  • About: It is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. 
  • Causes of Hepatitis: Heavy alcohol use, toxins, certain medications, and specific medical conditions can induce hepatitis.
  • Types of Hepatitis: Viral Hepatitis and Non-viral Hepatitis
  • Transmission: It is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluids – even in microscopic amounts  from a person infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected-.
  • Symptoms: Include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, etc.
  • Prevention/Vaccines: Vaccines are available for hepatitis A and B, but not for hepatitis C.
  • Treatment: There's no specific treatment for acute hepatitis B, while chronic infection can be managed with oral medications like tenofovir or entecavir.