WHO prequalifies first self-test kit for 'Hepatitis C' virus

WHO, virus
Photo credit: Mukhtor Kholdorbekov/Kazinform

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on Wednesday that it has prequalified the first self-test for the hepatitis C virus (HCV), thus accelerating efforts towards elimination of the viral infection, WAM reports.

Hepatitis C attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic illness that can be life-threatening. It is spread through contact with infected blood, including through sharing needles or syringes, unscreened blood transfusions, among other practices that lead to exposure to blood.

In a press release on Thursday, WHO said, "The OraQuick HCV self-test can provide a critical support in expanding access to testing and diagnosis.”

The kit is manufactured by OraSure Technologies and is an extension of the OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test which was initially prequalified by WHO in 2017 for professional use.

Some 50 million people have chronic hepatitis C virus infection, with about a million new infections occurring each year, according to WHO.

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