'SILENT EPIDEMIC' | Nearly ten percent of Filipinos infected with hepatitis

Almost ten percent of the Philippine population are infected with hepatitis, forcing experts to say that the situation is a "silent epidemic."

Close to nine million Filipinos are suffering from Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, the Hepatology Society of the Philippines (HSP) said on Wednesday, adding that most of those infected are "oblivious" of their illness.

Some 7.3 million are chronically infected with Hepatitis B, a "rate [that] is extremely high, more than double the eight percent average prevalence of Hepatitis B infection in the Western Pacific region," HSP President Dr. Diana Payawal said.

Meanwhile, around 2.3 percent or one million Filipinos may be infected with Hepatitis C virus, she added.


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