Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Highest Rates of Hepatitis C Virus Transmission Found in Egypt

More than 500,000 new infections occur annually, according to new study

Honolulu, Doha, August 9, 2010 – The Arab Republic of Egypt has the highest rates of new hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the world, according to a new study published today in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study also estimates more than 500,000 new HCV infections occur in Egypt every year, likely signaling an epidemic in a country of more than 77 million people. This high rate of HCV transmission may be due to the lack of sufficient standard safety precautions in medical and dental facilities, the authors suggest.

“Nearly 7 out of every 1,000 Egyptians acquire HCV infections every year, suggesting intense ongoing transmission. This is the highest level of HCV transmission ever recorded at a national level for a blood borne infectious disease transmitted parenterally, that is, by use of non-sterile medical instruments,” said Dr. F. DeWolfe Miller, lead author of this study and professor of epidemiology at the Department of Tropical Medicine and Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology at the University of Hawaii.

Download a copy of this paper at http://www2.hawaii.edu/~dewolfe/PNAS.html
Visit http://www.hcvegypt.com/ for more information on this epidemic.