The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: A National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis B and C (2010)

The global epidemic of hepatitis B and C is a serious public health problem, and in the United States alone between 3 million and 6 million people are infected with a strain of the viruses. Hepatitis B and C are the major causes of chronic liver disease and liver cancer. Indeed, in the next 10 years, 150,000 people in the United States will die from liver disease or cancer associated with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. People most at risk for hepatitis B and C often are the least likely to have access to medical services. Reducing the rates of illness and death associated with these diseases will require greater awareness and knowledge among health care workers, improved identification of at-risk people, and improved access to medical care.

Hepatitis and Liver Cancer identifies missed opportunities related to the prevention and control of HBV and HCV infections. The report presents ways to reduce the numbers of new HBV and HCV infections and the morbidity and mortality related to chronic viral hepatitis. It identifies priorities for research, policy, and action geared toward federal, state, and local public health officials, stakeholder, and advocacy groups and professional organizations.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: The only way public health agencies can deal with infectious disease is to have good surveillance in place, wait for an outbreak to happen in a human population, and then rush to contain it.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    By identifying pathogens in the animals where they naturally live and monitoring those organisms as they move from animals into people, it may be possible to prevent deadly new infections of animal origin from entering and racing through human populations.

  • Correct!

    By identifying pathogens in the animals where they naturally live and monitoring those organisms as they move from animals into people, it may be possible to prevent deadly new infections of animal origin from entering and racing through human populations.