Hepatitis and Children: Part 2 – Hepatitis B and C

In our last post we looked at the mysterious new form of hepatitis affecting young children. But what about hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which are already well known problems for thousands of Australians? How do they affect children?

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Hepatitis and Children: Part 1 – The Mystery

An unusual, and probably new, form of hepatitis has appeared in a number of countries this year, first being noticed in the UK, then spreading to Spain and the Netherlands and on to at least 35 other states and territories including the USA. The first group of active cases were found in March with the latest case numbers estimated at over 1000 and 22 deaths. Unusually, and alarmingly, all of the known cases have been in children. A number have required transfer to specialist children’s liver units, with a number needing lifesaving liver transplants.

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The Prehistory of Hepatitis B

A new study has traced the evolution of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) from prehistory to the present, revealing dissemination routes and changes in viral diversity.

In a new paper in the journal Science, researchers uncover the evolution of HBV since the Early Holocene (roughly 12,000 years ago, when the human species began to dominate the globe) by analysing the largest dataset of ancient viral genomes produced to date.

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Connections Improve Hepatitis C Care for People who are Homeless

Aaron* was shocked when his hepatitis C rapid test came back positive. When he was approached by a nurse and peer worker at the Hutt Street Centre to get tested, he had been pretty sure his results would be ok.

If you’re homeless and have no symptoms, testing for hep C is probably low on the list of priorities. Aaron considered himself pretty clued in about blood-borne virus risk; he’d been injecting drugs for many years and was an expert in technique, always using clean equipment.

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Finding 50,000

A hunt will soon be on to find 50,000 Australians with hepatitis C who are missing out on getting cured.

Finding 50,000 campaign will target geographically dispersed and socially diverse people who so far, have not been reached by the “business-as-usual” national hepatitis C response.

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Hepatitis C – Australia likely to miss targets

Despite having been one of the countries leading in the global campaign to eliminate viral hepatitis, Australia may now not meet its 2022 national hepatitis C treatment target or the 2030 global target.

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