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On March 28, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released the second phase of a report on eliminating viral hepatitis in the United States. The report, Eliminating the Public Health Problem of Hepatitis B and C in the United States , provides a U.S. strategy for eliminating hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infection and the disease and mortality caused by these agents as public health threats by 2030.
The report was sponsored by the HHS Office of Minority Health, CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis and Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Infectious Diseases Society of America and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable
Viral hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer.
- Hepatitis C is the most common cause of liver transplant.
- An estimated 3.5 million people are living with hepatitis C.
- Hepatitis C kills more Americans than any other infectious disease.
- An estimated 850,000 people are living with hepatitis B.
- About 1,000 babies are born with hepatitis B each year, increasing their risk of liver cancer.
- One in four infants infected with hepatitis B at birth will die prematurely.
The report sets out elimination goals for the nation and a practical set of recommendations to scale up current prevention activities and focuses on five areas, which are:
The phase-two report outlines some key targets for the larger goal of eliminating the public health problem of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in the U.S. Some outstanding targets by 2030 are:
Millions of Americans are living with viral hepatitis, and more than half don’t know they have the virus. Thus, they are at risk for life-threatening liver disease and cancer and unknowingly transmitting the virus to others. It is estimated that 3.5 million people are living with hepatitis C in the United States and 850,000 people are living with hepatitis B.
Viral hepatitis is especially a concern for racial and ethnic minority populations. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan 2017 – 2020:
Click here to go to the National Academies page about the National Strategy for the Elimination of Hepatitis B and C.
To learn more about viral hepatitis, visit the CDC’s page on the disease.
For more information on the data and trends of viral hepatitis in the United States, visit