May is Hepatitis Awareness Month, and the CDC and its public health partners are raising awareness and encouraging increased screening and vaccination.
According to the Alliance for the Elimination of Global Hepatitis, nearly 325 million people worldwide contracted hepatitis in 2018. Despite the availability of vaccines, more than 80% of people with hepatitis lack testing and treatment.
In support of Hepatitis Awareness Month, Healio has compiled seven recent reports on acute hepatitis outbreaks in children, the importance of screening and emerging drug treatments, WHO’s elimination goals and more.
Video: Although acute hepatitis in children is uncommon, parents should remain vigilant
In this exclusive Healio video, Elizabeth Fagan, Physician, A hepatologist and independent consultant in Texas, discusses global concerns about cases of acute and severe hepatitis in children and what caregivers should be aware of.
According to Fagan, there are now nearly 300 cases of acute hepatitis in children worldwide, as reported by the World Health Organization and the CDC. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and general malaise as well as worsening jaundice of the eyes and skin, dark urine, and pale stools. Some children may have respiratory problems. Read more.
CDC: Investigation underway into pediatric acute hepatitis
The CDC reported during a media briefing by telephone that it is investigating cases of acute idiopathic hepatitis among children in the United States but warns that it will take time to evaluate the evidence.
The agency’s investigation currently includes 109 cases of acute hepatitis in children in 25 states and territories over the past seven months. More than 90% of these patients were hospitalized and 14% received liver transplants; There were five deaths. Cases have been reported in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and Texas Washington and Wisconsin. Read more.
Video: Polyfertide improves quality of life in chronic HDV
Polyfertide improved quality of life among patients treated for chronic hepatitis D virus. Maria Boti, MD, Ph.D., of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Spain, told Healio.
In a multicenter, phase 3 study, researchers evaluated health-related quality of life benefits as measured by the Hepatitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (HQLQ) after 24 weeks of polyfertide 2 mg or delayed treatment. From baseline to study outcomes, outcomes resulted in improvements in all areas of HQLQ among patients treated with polyfertide. Read more.
We must now screen HDV with emerging phase 3 drug therapies
Without approved treatment options for hepatitis D, screening has declined considerably; However, promising treatments in phase 3 trials may change that paradigm, according to a presenter at the GUILD conference.
“Hepatitis D is a virus that I think we don’t talk much about; in fact, the general sentiment among many of my colleagues is, ‘I don’t even test delta,'” Nura TiraaultMD, MPH, The professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Keck School of Medicine at USC told attendees. “I’m trying to convince you otherwise. We should check Delta. It’s there. You just have to look for it.” Read more.
Heavy alcohol use increases liver impairment and risk of liver cancer in cirrhosis caused by hepatitis
Among patients with cirrhosis caused by hepatitis, heavy alcohol consumption increased impaired liver function and the spread of hepatocellular carcinoma, according to the research.
“It has been shown that heavy alcohol consumption accelerates the development of cirrhosis and increases the prevalence of liver cancer and mortality in patients with hepatitis B virus.” Kudjo Konali abassaAnd of the Department of Gastroenterology at the Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University in China, and colleagues wrote. “However, there is a need to explore more about the prevalence of other complications of cirrhosis such as esophageal and gastric variceal bleeding among these groups of patients.” Read more.
Increased diagnosis of viral hepatitis, and treatment necessary to reach the WHO’s elimination goals
The prevalence of hepatitis C infection has declined globally, but countries must raise rates of diagnosis and treatment to meet the World Health Organization’s goals of eliminating hepatitis C by 2030, according to new data.
“Our goal with this project was to assess the global spread of hepatitis C virus and to establish a new baseline for future elimination efforts,” Sarah Blach, MHS, CPH, HCV team leader and epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Analysis said during a presentation at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience. Read more.
WHO issues global guidelines for disposal of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus
The World Health Organization has released the first-ever global guide for countries seeking to eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses.
“The 2016 WHO Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis provided a roadmap for eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health problem by 2030,” Philippa Easterbrook, MD, From the Global Hepatitis and HIV Division of the World Health Organization, colleagues wrote. “The 2020 Sustainable Development Goals and the GHSS target to reduce the incidence of hepatitis B have been achieved. However, most of the other 2020 global goals have been missed, and urgent action is needed to reach the eradication of the disease.” Read more.