Comment – Eliminating hepatitis B virus as a global health threat
Lancet Infectious Diseases December 2016 V.16 N.12 P.1313–1314
Grace Lai-Hung Wong, Vincent Wai-Sun Wong
In The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Shevanthi Nayagam and colleagues1 report a modelling study on the effectiveness of different interventions on the incidence and mortality rate of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. To appreciate the implications of this report, we need to understand the context. Chronic viral hepatitis is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide.2 Chronic HBV infection alone affects over 240 million people worldwide and is one of the most common causes of cirrhosis and liver cancer.3 In May, 2014, the World Health Assembly requested WHO to provide the necessary technical support to enable member states to develop robust national viral hepatitis prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies. In response, WHO set ambitious goals of reducing new cases of chronic viral hepatitis by 90%, and reducing mortality rates from these infections by 65% between 2015 and 2030.4 Achievement of these goals might at least eliminate chronic viral hepatitis as a major global health threat. What can we do to make this happen?
Comment – More pieces to the microcephaly–Zika virus puzzle in Brazil Association between Zika virus infection and microcephaly in Brazil, January to May, 2016: preliminary report of a case-control study