Archive 3 things in health this week: Neglected tropical diseases,...

3 things in health this week: Neglected tropical diseases, hepatitis, and meningitis

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This week in public health: Neglected tropical diseases, hepatitis, and meningitis

An estimated 325 million people worldwide are living with chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus infection. The large majority of these people lack access to life-saving testing and treatment. Although overall deaths from hepatitis are increasing, new infections of Hepatitis B virus are falling, thanks to increased coverage of Hepatitis B virus vaccination among children.
WHO reports remarkable achievements in tackling neglected tropical diseases. An estimated 1 billion people received treatment in 2015 alone. Once widely prevalent, these diseases are now mainly restricted to tropical and sub-tropical regions with unsafe water, inadequate hygiene and sanitation, and poor housing conditions.
A vaccination campaign is under way in Nigeria to contain an outbreak of meningitis C. Meningitis infects the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord and can cause severe brain damage. Meningitis is fatal in 50% of cases if untreated. WHO and partners supported shipments of 1.3M doses of meningitis C vaccines and 20,000 antibiotics.

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