Eliminating the Public Health Problem of Hepatitis B and C in the United States: Phase One Report


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Viral hepatitis is the seventh leading cause of death in the world, killing more people than road traffic injuries, HIV and AIDS, or diabetes. Every year chronic viral hepatitis, of which hepatitis B and C are the most common forms, kills a million people, roughly 20,000 of them in the United States.  These deaths could be prevented.  Hepatitis B vaccine conveys 95 percent immunity, and new therapies for hepatitis C cure the vast majority of patients. A recent report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that both hepatitis B and C could be rare diseases in the United States, but there are substantial obstacles to meeting this goal.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Viral Hepatitis and Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health commissioned the Academies to work in two parts.  The first report discusses the feasibility of eliminating hepatitis B and C from the United States.  A second report from the same committee will recommend specific actions to hasten the end of these diseases.  This report will be released in 2017.