Decline of incidence of A, B and non-A, non-B hepatitis in Italy. Results of four years surveillance (1985-88). SEIEVA collaborating group.Ital J Gastroenterol. 1990 Oct; 22(5):274-80.IJ
A specific surveillance system for acute viral hepatitis which uses weekly notification of cases and a standard risk factor questionnaire was started in Italy in 1984. From 1985 to 1988 153 Health Departments (27% of Italian population) joined the system. Estimated incidence of reported viral hepatitis was 30 per 100,000 in 1985 and 14 in 1988. The decline was impressive for hepatitis A, particularly in the south. Reduction of incidence was also evident for hepatitis B and Non-A, Non-B hepatitis, particularly in young adults. The decrease of viral hepatitis in Italy is consistent with recent seroepidemiological data. Shellfish consumption was the most frequent risk factor reported for hepatitis A cases at all ages. Hospitalization, surgical intervention, dental therapy and other percutaneous exposures still play a role in the transmission of parenteral hepatitis in Italy. Blood transfusions seem to be important only for Non-A, Non-B. Interventions other than vaccination to prevent B and Non-A, Non-B hepatitis due to hospitalization, surgical intervention, other percutaneous exposures and dental therapy are needed and can further contribute to the decline of hepatitis virus infection rates in Italy.