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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 26th May 2017 > NOBODY HAS TO DIE


The two hepatitis scourges are both preventable and curable. So why are so many people still dying?

IN TERMS of global killers, hepatitis now trumps HIV and equals tuberculosis. According to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.34 million people died from hepatitis B and C in 2015, and about 325 million people are living with these infections.

The numbers are particularly disconcerting because these viral illnesses are both preventable and treatable. Yet there is reason to be optimistic that the tide of these infectious and fatal diseases could now be forced to recede.

Hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) are two distinct viruses that colonize the liver. Babies born in countries with high rates of HBV are particularly at risk for the disease: Infected mothers can transmit the pathogen to infants during birth.

Sex and needle sharing are also common routes for the virus to travel. HBV can live outside the body for up to seven days, so touching dried blood containing the virus—a common hospital scenario—can result in an infection. HCV also finds dirty needles particularly conducive for moving from one host to another.

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THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA James Comey talked too much. He talked too much about Hillary Clinton’s emails. And then he talked too much, too late, about the Russians and Team Trump. Both exercises got him fired. President Donald Trump and his most rabid advisers among them self-proclaimed dirty trickster Roger Stone, according to some accounts felt they had an opening to take down Comey. They thought it would be a clean kill, just like their immigration executive orders. Again, they were wrong.