Nobel Prize for Medicine goes to Hepatitis C discovery

Three scientists who discovered the virus Hepatitis C have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology.

Jerusalem24 – A British scientist named Michael Houghton from the University of Alberta, and two US researchers Harvey Alter from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Charles Rice of Rockefeller University won the Nobel Medicine prize of 2020. According to the Nobel Prize committee, their discoveries have “saved millions of lives.” Hepatitis C is a common cause of liver cancer and is one of the main reasons why people need a liver transplant.

There was huge concern, in the 1960s, that people receiving donated blood were getting chronic hepatitis from an unidentified disease. The committee said that a blood transfusion at the time was like “Russian roulette.” While better blood testing as well as the development of anti-viral drugs means cases like that have been eliminated in many parts of the world, the virus still infects 70 million people a year and kills around 400 thousand.

The prize committee said that “For the first time in history, the disease can now be cured, raising hopes of eradicating Hepatitis C virus from the world.”

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