September 27, 2017 – Hepatitis Toll
Anchor lead: Viral hepatitis is a killer, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Hepatitis, where the liver becomes inflamed, is most often caused by a group of viruses, and the death toll worldwide from these infections is staggering, according to recently released data. Mike Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, describes the findings.
Klag: If you lump all the viral hepatitis together hepatitis A,B, C, D and E, the alphabet soup of hepatitis they account for an estimated 1.3million deaths around the world. That’s more than from tuberculosis or HIV or malaria alone. The other important thing is that we can screen for it and we can treat it. Unfortunately for some of these viral infections the treatment is very very expensive. Knowing that we have a way to treat these diseases, how do we set up systems to screen, find the people with it and then treat? :31
Klag notes that domestically, baby boomers are recommended to be tested for hepatitis C so they can be identified and treated. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.