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 storyViral hepatitis – 400 deaths a day in the WHO European Region could be prevented
Over 13 million people in the WHO European Region live with chronic hepatitis B infection and over 15 million with chronic hepatitis C infection, leading to 400 deaths every day. WHO calls on policy-makers, health workers and the public to act now to prevent infection and death from hepatitis. 28 July is World Hepatitis Day.
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InfographicMore data and statistics
Prevent hepatitis. Act now.
WHO Regional Office for Europe works with several key partners on activities related to hepatitisRead more