It’s World Hepatitis Day. In 2015 the World Health Organisation (WHO) is highlighting the urgent need for countries to prevent viral hepatitis infection and to ensure that people who have been infected are diagnosed and offered treatment. This year, the Organisation is focusing particularly on hepatitis B and C, which together cause approximately 80% of all liver cancer deaths and kill close to 1.4 million people every year.
In Ireland the HSE urges anyone who may be at risk of hepatitis C to seek help and get tested. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 people in Ireland are chronically infected with hepatitis C, more than half of whom are not aware of the infection. Approximately 700-800 new cases are notified each year.