Hepatitis B virus: epidemiology, transmission and carrier state
Human hepatitis B virus infection constitutes a major and growing global health problem. It is estimated that worldwide there are 350 million infective carriers of HBV markers (Kurstak et al., 1989; Davis, 1991; WHO Press Release, 1992). These individuals are potentially susceptible to the debilitating of fatal consequences of HBV infection as chronic liver disease, liver cirrhosis or primary hepatocellular carcinoma (Fig. 12). According to World Health Organization estimates more than 40% of persistently HBV infected persons, surviving into adult life, may face mortality (WHO, 1988).
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