There is a vaccine against hepatitis A and hepatitis B, but there is no vaccine against hepatitis C. Screening for HBV and HCV is recommended for certain at-risk individuals.

Hepatitis in Belgium

  • Since the screening of blood products began (at the end of the 90s) the main route for infection by the hepatitis C virus has been the use of intravenous drugs (KCE).
  • In 2013, Sciensano analysed 720 samples, of which 31 proved to be positive for a recent or active HEV infection.

According to Sciensano's reports on the hepatitis B virus (in french and dutch) and on the hepatitis C virus (in french and dutch) (2014):

  • in 2014, the sentinel microbiological laboratories recorded 1,621 new cases of infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV
  • despite increased screening for women aged 20 to 39, the prevalence of HCV remains highest in men with a median age of 45 to 49 years old 
  • it is estimated that the annual incidence of hepatitis C is 1,500 cases, that is 13.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants 
  • HBV occurs most frequently in women from the 30-34-year-old age group and in men aged 35 to 39.

Please note! These statistics are subject to change. Consult Epistat for HAV and HCV.

Hepatitis in Europe

According to the ECDC, in 2013:

  • men and people aged between 25 and 34 are most affected by HBV and HCV 
  • 31,513 cases of hepatitis C were diagnosed in Europe (26 EU countries), that is an incidence of 9.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, 
  • 80% of HCV transmissions occur through drug injections
  • 19,101 cases of hepatitis B were diagnosed in Europe (28 EU countries), that is an incidence of 4.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

Hepatitis worldwide

According to the WHO:

In conjunction with the Laboratoire Clinique de Saint-Luc (Saint Luc Clinical Laboratory) — UCL Brussels, Sciensano hosts the National Reference Centre for the hepatitis B, C, D, and E viruses, which analyses the viral strains of hepatitis. Sciensano also carries out epidemiological surveillance of the different types of viral hepatitis in Belgium and monitors the quality of the vaccines.

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