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Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Discovery of Hepatitis C

  

Harvey J. Alter, Charles M. Rice, and Michael Houghton

            Discovery of a new virus in the period of COVID pandemic. In recognition of this, the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden's Nobel Assembly, awarded the Nobel Prize to three scientists. Hepatitis A and B viruses were previously identified. The hepatitis-C virus is one of the leading causes of cirrhosis and cancer in the liver. They are Harvey J. Alter, Charles M. Rice, and Michael Houghton, a British scientist. In addition to the recognition, they will receive one crore Swedish kronor or about 11 lakh 18 thousand dollars as a financial reward.

            The Nobel Committee said on Monday that the three scientists had explained blood-borne hepatitis. Hepatitis ‘A’ or ‘B’ could not explain that. The trio's study made it possible to diagnose hepatitis C through blood tests. Medicines made from the research of three scientists have revived millions of patients. Thanks to their contribution, Hepatitis-C patients are recovering today.

               Hepatitis is a virus in the Flaviviridae family. Harvey J. Alter U.S. Virologist. In the mid-1970s, Alter claimed that hepatitis A was not only transmitted by the A and B viruses. He later identified the hepatitis C virus. Charles M. Rice is also an American virologist. He currently teaches and researches at Rockefeller University. In 2002 and 2003, Charles began identifying members of the flavivirus family. He later identified the hepatitis C virus. Michael Houghton, on the other hand, is a British scientist. He identified the hepatitis C virus jointly with Cui-Lim Chu, George Cuo & Daniel Bradley.

              Hepatitis B virus was first detected in the last century. Hepatitis-B was then discovered by scientist Baruch Bloomberg. He first showed how deadly the transmission of this blood-borne virus can be. From there, he gave evidence of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Bloomberg won the Nobel Prize in 1976 for it. This time, three medical scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery of another virus of the same genus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 70 million people are infected with hepatitis each year. The disease kills more than 4 lakh people.

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