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3 share Nobel for medicine

By The Assam Tribune

STOCKHOLM, Oct 5 - Americans Harvey J Alter and Charles M Rice and British-born scientist Michael Houghton won the Nobel Prize for medicine on Monday for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus, a major source of liver disease that affects millions worldwide. Announcing the prize here, the Nobel Committee noted that the trio�s work identified a major source of blood-borne hepatitis that couldn�t be explained by the previously discovered hepatitis A and B viruses. Their work, dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, has helped saved millions of lives, the committee said.

�Thanks to their discovery, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus are now available and these have essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health,� the committee said. �Their discovery also allowed the rapid development of antiviral drugs directed at hepatitis C,� it said, adding, �For the first time in history, the disease can now be cured, raising hopes of eradicating hepatitis C virus from the world population.�

The World Health Organisation estimates there are over 70 million cases of hepatitis C worldwide and 400,000 deaths from it each year. The disease is chronic and a major cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis requiring liver transplants. � AP

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3 share Nobel for medicine

STOCKHOLM, Oct 5 - Americans Harvey J Alter and Charles M Rice and British-born scientist Michael Houghton won the Nobel Prize for medicine on Monday for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus, a major source of liver disease that affects millions worldwide. Announcing the prize here, the Nobel Committee noted that the trio�s work identified a major source of blood-borne hepatitis that couldn�t be explained by the previously discovered hepatitis A and B viruses. Their work, dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, has helped saved millions of lives, the committee said.

�Thanks to their discovery, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus are now available and these have essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health,� the committee said. �Their discovery also allowed the rapid development of antiviral drugs directed at hepatitis C,� it said, adding, �For the first time in history, the disease can now be cured, raising hopes of eradicating hepatitis C virus from the world population.�

The World Health Organisation estimates there are over 70 million cases of hepatitis C worldwide and 400,000 deaths from it each year. The disease is chronic and a major cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis requiring liver transplants. � AP

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