Hepatitis C in Japanby Alan Franciscus

This article which originally appeared in the HCV Advocate, discusses hepatitis C in Japan.

Alan FranciscusOf all the industrialized countries of the world, Japan has the highest rate of hepatitis C (HCV). It also has one of the oldest and most varied histories of hepatitis C in the world among the industrialized modern nations. Approximately 1.5 to 2 million Japanese are infected with hepatitis C. Approximately 70% of the Japanese population infected with hepatitis C has HCV genotype 1b, and 30% are infected with genotype 2a/b.

The History of HCV in Japan

Modern medicine and public health came early to Japan in the late 1800’s. In the early 1900’s, the discovery of the hypodermic needle and a drug to treat schistosomiasis would transmit hepatitis C throughout Japan.

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