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Shanghai reports 81% drop in acute hepatitis cases

THE incidence of acute hepatitis in Shanghai fell by 81.4 percent in the last 10 years, reaching the lowest level in history, thanks to the city's effective prevention and control system, the Shanghai Health Bureau said ahead of the World Hepatitis Day today.

But chronic hepatitis is still a headache for local health department. A recent survey showed the city has about 800,000 to 1 million hepatitis B virus carriers and 120,000 hepatitis C virus carriers. About 200,000 of them could turn into chronic hepatitis patients.

In Shanghai, about 4,000 chronic hepatitis patients develop cirrhosis and liver cancer each year, costing billions of yuan in medical treatment.

To control the spread of hepatitis, Shanghai set up a hepatitis monitoring system in the 1950s and popularized hepatitis prevention knowledge after a hepatitis A outbreak sickened 300,000 people in 1988.

Shanghai introduced hepatitis B vaccination

n in the 1980s. All newborns are vaccinated and the service has been expanded to all local residents and migrants who have lived in Shanghai for over six months.

Migrant children under 15 years old are also given free shots so they don't miss their vaccination. Currently, over 99 percent of Shanghai children have been vaccinated, the highest rate in the nation. As a result, the number of hepatitis B carriers among children under five has dropped to less than 1 percent.
Hepatitis B remains a global challenge. According to the World Health Organization, there are about 350 million hepatitis B carriers and 170 million hepatitis C carriers worldwide. About 800,000 to 1 million people die from diseases related with viral hepatitis.


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