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3 win Nobel medicine prize for discovering hepatitis C virus

3 win Nobel medicine prize for discovering hepatitis C virus
Posted at 9:30 AM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 09:32:49-04

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and British-born scientist Michael Houghton have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in medicine for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus.

The World Health Organization estimates there are over 70 million cases of hepatitis worldwide and 400,000 deaths each year.

The disease is chronic and a major cause of liver inflammation and cancer.

The Nobel committee says, “thanks to their discovery, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus are now available," a development that has greatly reduced the chances of getting hepatitis C through blood transfusions.

The medicine prize carries particular significance this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has highlighted the importance of medical research.