Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are five main hepatitis viruses that cause acute and/or chronic infection, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In the WHO European Region an estimated 13 million people live with chronic hepatitis B, and an estimated 15 million people are infected with hepatitis C. Because the disease is often asymptomatic and left untreated, chronic hepatitis is a major cause of liver cirrhosis and primary liver cancer. People who inject drugs are particularly vulnerable to hepatitis and co-infection with both hepatitis and HIV is common.
Top storyPreventing hepatitis B and C
Hepatitis B and C are prevalent in the WHO European Region. WHO and its partners have made significant advances in tackling the disease this year, and on World Hepatitis Day they urge policy-makers, health workers and the public to “Think again” about this silent killer.
- Preventing hepatitis B and C
- World Health Assembly, day 4: proposals on coordination of noncommunicable disease response
- Prisons and health
InfographicMore data and statistics
6 things to know about hepatitis
WHO Regional Office for Europe works with several key partners on activities related to hepatitisRead more