Worldwide, more than 240 million people have chronic liver infections (the actual hepatitis) and about 600,000 people die every year due to an infection with Hepatitis B Virus.
|[Image: CDC/Dr. Erskine Palmer]|
Hepatitis B Virus is extremely infectious and can survive outside the body for at least seven days. During this time, the virus can still cause infection if it enters the body of an unvaccinated person. The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person or animal.
Scientists wanted to understand if mosquitoes could be vectors for the Hepatitis B Virus and the results suggest that Hepatitis B Virus could be transmitted to humans via mosquitoes, especially if mosquitoes that fed on an already infected human are interrupted during feeding and move to another person to resume feeding.
An effective vaccine has existed since 1982 but many people at high risk for getting the virus nevertheless are still not innoculated. What about you?
More Hepatitis News can be found here.
 Blow et al: Post-bloodmeal diuretic shedding of hepatitis B virus by mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in Journal of Medical Entomology - 2002