A new study by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar
(WCMC-Q) shows that there is a large geographic variation in the
distribution of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Egypt.
Egypt has the highest infection level of the disease in the world,
with 14.7% of the population carrying HCV, but it is still not clear why
this is so.
Treatment campaigns for bilharzia – a disease caused by parasitic
worms – during the 1960s and 1970s, using parenteral antischistosomal
therapy (PAT), contributed to the epidemic through wide-scale sharing of
needles and syringes. However, these campaigns can explain only about
10% of HCV infections in the country. It is probable that most HCV
infections in Egypt are linked to exposures in medical care settings.