More than 300 million people worldwide are living with chronic hepatitis B or C infection, viral hepatitis B or C viruses can lead to serious and life-threatening liver damage, including liver cirrhosis (scarring), liver cancer and the need for liver transplantation.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally. WHO estimated that in 2019, approximately 290 000 people died from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (primary liver cancer).
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is especially common in the African and Western Pacific regions.
Many people with viral hepatitis have not been diagnosed, and some have not yet received medical treatment for the disease.
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