Global & Disaster Medicine

Egypt is wiping out Hepatitis C at an unprecedented pace. How?

The Atlantic

“…..The hepatitis C epidemic in Egypt—the country with the highest prevalence of the disease in the world—started around 50 years ago, when the government was attempting to get rid of one plague and ended up substituting it for another. For millennia the Nile Delta has been an ideal breeding ground for schistosomiasis, a parasite spread to humans by freshwater snails. In the mid-20th century, the Egyptian government conducted multiple mass-treatment campaigns using an injectable emetic—and needles were repeatedly reused. Hepatitis C virus, not yet known but transmitted efficiently by blood, was inadvertently spread to many citizens. By 2008, one in 10 Egyptians had chronic hepatitis C…..By 2015 hepatitis C accounted for 40,000 deaths per year in Egypt—7.6 percent of all deaths there—and depressed national GDP growth by 1.5 percent……..”

Global hepatitis report - infographics


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