Viral hepatitis is one of major global health challenges with increasing disease burden worldwide. Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infections are major causes of chronic liver diseases. They can lead to cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and death in significant portion of affected people. Transmission of hepatitis B virus can be blocked by vaccination. Progression of hepatitis B virus-related liver diseases can be prevented by long-term viral suppression with effective drugs. Although vaccine for hepatitis C virus is currently unavailable, hepatitis C virus infection can be eradicated by oral direct antiviral agents. To eliminate viral hepatitis, World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries to develop national goals and targets through reducing 90% of new infections and providing universal access to key treatment services up to 80%. This can lead to 65% reduction of viral hepatitis-related mortality. Here, we discuss some key features of viral hepatitis, strategies to control viral hepatitis suggested by WHO, and current status and strategies for viral hepatitis control in South Korea. To achieve the goal of viral hepatitis elimination by 2030 in South Korea, an independent 'viral hepatitis sector' in Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) needs to be established to organize and execute comprehensive strategy for the management of viral hepatitis in South Korea.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology