Week Ending June 27, 2022

Towards the elimination of hepatitis C as a public health concern
“​NSW Health has today released a comprehensive plan to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health concern by 2028 with the NSW Hepatitis C Strategy 2022 – 2025. Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the new strategy is centred on prevention, testing, treatment and addressing stigma and discrimination associated with the disease.”

Two Highly Effective Direct-Acting Antiviral Regimens Identified for Hepatitis C Genotype 6
“Two direct-acting antiviral (DAA) regimens — sofosbuvir/velpatasvir (SOF/VEL) and gelcaprevir/pibrentasvir (GLE/PIB) — had favorable outcomes and were safe for the treatment of hepatitis C virus genotype 6 (HCV-6) infection. These findings were published in the Journal of the Formosan Medical Association.”

What is the epidemiology for hepatitis C?
“The World Health Organization notes that 1.5 million new HCV infections occur each year. Less than half of those with an HCV infection clear the virus from their system within 6 months and without any treatment. Approximately 70% of people cannot rid their bodies of the virus and develop a chronic infection.”

Progress seen in proportion of pregnant persons with hep C screening
“There has been substantial progress in the proportion of pregnant persons screened for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but the testing rates are still low, according to an article published online June 9 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.”

WHO publishes updated guidance on hepatitis C infection – with new recommendations on treatment of adolescents and children, simplified service delivery and diagnostics
“Updated WHO Guidance on hepatitis C (HCV) infection was released today during a joint WHO-EASL-CDC symposium at the EASL International Liver Congress 2022 in London. These guidelines recommend a radical simplification of the care pathway to overcome barriers in access to HCV testing and treatment.”

Chronic Hepatitis B Infections Decreasing in Recent Years
“New data shows a drop in the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections and deaths among the youngest populations.”

Mood and Cognition Improve After Hepatitis C Cure
“People who were successfully treated for hepatitis C with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy experienced improvements in their mood and cognition, according to study results published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis. Over time, chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can lead to severe liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer. It has also been linked to neuropsychiatric problems. For example, people with cirrhosis may develop hepatic encephalopathy, wherein toxins in the blood result in impaired brain function.”

Mystery Hepatitis Disease Has Now Killed 11 Children in U.S.
“Child hepatitis cases in the United States have caused 11 deaths and dozens of hospitalizations as part of an outbreak with no known cause, new data shows. Analysis published last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that there were a total of 296 cases of hepatitis with an unknown cause among U.S. children aged under 10 between October 1, 2021 and June 15 this year.”