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Hepatitis B and C 

Hepatitis B and C
Chapter:
Hepatitis B and C
Author(s):

Sema Mandal

and Koye Balogun

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198719830.003.0022
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date: 21 April 2021

Hepatitis B and C are blood-borne viral infections that cause acute and chronic infection. Both infections can cause chronic liver disease and associated complications of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis B is mainly transmitted perinatally or by horizontal transmission with an infected person in early childhood in countries of high endemicity. Hepatitis C is primarily transmitted parenterally through injecting drug use by sharing injecting equipment; transfusion of blood and blood products from unscreened donors and donations; and the use of contaminated or inadequately sterilized instruments and needles. Immunization forms the backbone of global efforts to reduce the burden of hepatitis B infection and its consequences, while targeting harm reduction programmes at people who inject drugs contributes to reductions in new hepatitis C infections. Continued surveillance of these infections allows countries to define the epidemiological and virological trends of infection and to assess control strategies and treatment options.

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