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.
- 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.
According to the WHO:
- viral hepatitis has become the 7th leading cause of death worldwide (WHO, viral hepatitis: the silent killer)
- it is estimated that almost 2 billion people have contracted HBV (WHO Hepatitis: questions and answers)
- it is estimated that there are 130 to 150 million carriers of HCV (WHO, Hepatitis C)
- it is estimated that every year 20 million people are infected with hepatitis E, which leads to 56,000 deaths worldwide (WHO, Hepatitis E).
- most of the 400 million people affected by chronic hepatitis B or C , the most severe forms of this disease, do not know that they are infected (WHO, viral hepatitis: the silent killer)
- over 780,000 people die every year following a hepatitis B infection, in particular from cirrhosis or liver cancer (WHO, Hepatitis B)
- approximately 500,000 people die every year from hepatic pathologies linked to hepatitis C (WHO, Hepatitis C).