CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News UpdateITALY: Italy Leads Europe in Hepatitis C Cases
June 12, 2013
Gazzetta del Sud (06.11.2013)
Aids Weekly Plus
On June 11, doctors at the Premio Giornalistico Riccardo Tomassetti Conference on Virology in Milan said that Italy led Europe in reported hepatitis C cases, with 1.6 million individuals infected with the virus and 55 percent of those afflicted with genotype 1, which is a particularly infectious strain of the disease to treat. According to Massimo Colombo, director of special treatments and organ transplants at Milan’s Maggiore Hospital, the majority of infected individuals contracted the virus during the 1970s or 1980s from infected blood transfusions or unsterilized hypodermic needles. Colombo estimated that another 200–300,000 contracted hepatitis C due to high-risk behavior such as unprotected sex, piercings, or tattoos.