Surveillance and prevention of hepatitis B and C in Europe
ECDC releases today two new reports on hepatitis B and C entitled ‘Surveillance and prevention of hepatitis B and C in Europe’ and ‘Hepatitis B and C in the EU neighbourhood: prevalence, burden of disease and screening policies’. http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/TER_100914_Hep_B_C%20_EU_neighbourhood.pdf Hepatitis surveillance is implemented in all Member States but varies considerably across countries. Universal vaccination programmes for HBV are implemented in 22 countries and seven countries have established targeted vaccination programmes. The majority of the countries have implemented screenings for HBV in pregnant women; only four countries do not have such a programme. Half of the countries conduct screening programmes for hepatitis C, primarily for injecting drug users and prison inmates. Prevalence data on HBV and HCV remain scarce in many countries, both for the general population and groups-at-risk. The release of the reports coincides with a summit conference on hepatitis B and C, which will take place from 14 to 15 October in Brussels, Belgium. The conference will bring together major stakeholders to analyse new and existing information and enable European policy makers and other stakeholders to formulate public policies in response to the epidemic of viral hepatitis in Europe.