Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, 2020
The Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology has been jointly awarded to Harvey J Alter, Charles M Rice and Michael Houhgton. The scientists have been awarded for the discovery of Hepatitis C Virus.
The Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology is the first of six prizes that are to be announced in coming days. The other Noble Prizes to be announced are in the field of Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Economics.
About the Prize
The Prize Money of 1,118,000 USD for the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine also comes with a gold medal. The prize money was recently increased to adjust inflation.
In 2019, the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to scientists Peter Ratcliffe, Gregg Semenza and William Kaelin for discovering how the body cells sense and react to low oxygen levels.
According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 70 million cases of Hepatitis in the world. Over 400,000 deaths occur due to the disease. The disease is chronic and it causes liver inflammations and cancer.
Hepatitis C in India
The National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme was launched under National Health Mission to upgrade diagnosis and treatment for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The main aim of the mission is to treat at least 3 lakh Hepatitis cases over a period of three years.
About Hepatitis C virus
The virus spreads through blood-to-blood contact. This can occur through injection drug use, transfusions and needlestick injuries. Also, the virus can spread from a mother to her baby. The virus does not spread through superficial contacts.
No vaccine has been discovered against Hepatitis C. There are vaccines for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. They are administered in India under Universal Immunization Programme. Three injections are provided in a gap of six to twelve months.
No vaccine has been discovered against Hepatitis C. As of 2017, around 71 million people world wide have been infected with Hepatitis C.