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J Korean Med Assoc. 2016 Dec;59(12):912-915. Korean. Editorial. https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2016.59.12.912
Kim IH .
Department of Internal Medicine, Chonbuk National University Hospital, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea. ihkimmd@jbnu.ac.kr
Research Institute of Clinical Medicine, Chonbuk National University Hospital, Chonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea.
Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the major causes of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. In South Korea, the prevalence of HCV infection in adults is 0.78%. Recent outbreaks of HCV infection in Korea were associated with unsafe injection practices such as syringe reuse, contaminated multi-dose vials, and unsanitary medical procedures. The findings emphasize the role of unsafe injection practices in the community outbreak of hepatitis C, as well as the need to establish a routine surveillance system and increase awareness among health care workers regarding safe injection practices. In response to the HCV outbreaks, the Korean government and Korean Medical Association announced a strategy for prevention and control of HCV infection. It should encompass health care institutions as well as non-medical facilities providing invasive procedures carrying the risk of HCV transmission. Furthermore, the government needs to consider including an anti-HCV test in national health screening and broaden financial support for expensive novel oral anti-HCV drugs for early detection and eradication of HCV infection.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.