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 15 million people live with chronic hepatitis B, and an estimated 14 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 storyWorld Hepatitis Day: making hepatitis elimination a reality
The world is poised to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. This will mean achieving a 90% reduction in new infections and a 65% reduction in deaths in the period leading up to 2030.
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PublicationsAction plan for the health sector response to viral hepatitis in the WHO European Region (2017) More publications
InfographicMore data and statistics
Prevent hepatitis. Act now.
WHO Regional Office for Europe works with several key partners on activities related to hepatitisRead more