Is hepatitis B a serious infection?
Hepatitis B (HBV) is a viral infection that affects the liver and can cause both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) disease. 1
Persistent or chronic HBV infection is among the most common persistent viral infections in humans, 2with about 2 billion individuals infected 3and around 240 million people chronically infected globally (estimation year 2012). 1
HBV is second only to tobacco as a cause of cancer in the world and is the cause of over 50% of all cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) 6which causes up to 700,000 deaths annually worldwide. 4
- WHO. Hepatitis B fact sheet. 2015. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/. Last accessed June 2015.
- WHO. Global Alert and Response (GAR): Hepatitis B index 3. Available at: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/hepatitis/whocdscsrlyo20022/en/index3.html. Last accessed June 2015.
- WHO. Global Alert and Response (GAR): World Hepatitis Day 2012. Available at: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/hepatitis/world_hepatitis_day/en/. Last accessed June 2015.
- Romano L, Paladini S, Van Damme P, et al. The worldwide impact of vaccination on the control and protection of viral hepatitis B. Dig Liver Dis 2011;43(Suppl 1):S2–S7.
- Zanetti AR, Van Damme P, Shouval D, et al. The global impact of vaccination against hepatitis B: a historical overview. Vaccine 2008;26:6266–6273.
- de Franchis R, Hadengue A, Lau G, et al. Consensus statement, EASL International Consensus Conference on Hepatitis B. J Hepatol 2003;39:S3–S25.