New data shows concerning drop in hepatitis diagnoses and monitoring amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Doherty Institute and Cancer Council Victoria are urging at-risk Victorians to prioritise viral hepatitis as a health concern as new data reveals a 41 per cent drop in hepatitis diagnosis tests in April and May 2020, compared with April and May 2019.

The data, prepared by the National Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project from Medicare Australia records also shows a 21 per cent decrease in hepatitis B monitoring tests in April and May 2020, compared with April and May 2019 in Victoria.

The latest Viral Hepatitis Mapping Report demonstrates that even before COVID-19, in the Gippsland PHN area less than ten per cent of people living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) were provided with care in 2018, and only three per cent received treatment.

Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis at the Doherty Institute, Professor Benjamin Cowie, said this data highlighted the risk and severity of delaying vital healthcare due to COVID-19.

Read the media release below.

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