Pandemic Threatens Progress Eliminating Hepatitis In Latin America - Health Dept.

Pandemic Threatens Progress Eliminating Hepatitis in Latin America - Health Dept.

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 28th July, 2021) The coronavirus pandemic had disrupted diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C, slowing progress toward the goal of eliminating the infectious diseases by 2030, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said.

"More than half of the 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries surveyed reported some level of disruption in the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B and C," the PAHO said in a press release on Tuesday.

In the Americas, an estimated 5.4 million people live with hepatitis B infections, while 4.

8 million are infected with hepatitis C, the release said.

Although vaccination can eliminate early childhood transmission of hepatitis B, vaccinations have slowed during the pandemic, the release added.

The pandemic has also prevented nations from scaling up treatment of hepatitis C with anti-viral drugs, which have demonstrated a 95 percent cure rate, according to the release.

The PAHO has set a goal of eliminating hepatitis in the Americas by the end of the decade.