About 75% of Japanese liver cancer is caused by hepatitis C. Widespread infection of the virus resulted from inadequate medical knowledge, as well as the political, economic and administrative conditions of the time. We investigated the association between the widespread infection of the hepatitis C virus and the historical events. We used a fishbone diagram to investigate the cause of widespread infection of the hepatitis C virus and considered the issue from a historical standpoint. We found causes including treatment (medical care), transfusion (medicine), economy (expense) and people (infection route). These causes are explained in further detail below. 1) Treatment (medical care). The initial large-scale infection occurred following attempts to eradicate Schistosoma japonicum involving mass vaccination in schools and public health centers. 2) Transfusion (medicine). The use of non-heated fibrinogen for massive postpartum hemorrhage spread the virus further. In 1987, it resulted in a mass outbreak of hepatitis in Aomori Prefecture. 3) Economy (expense). Recognition of the benefit of disposable syringes was delayed. As a result, disposable syringes were too expensive to be widely available, and did not become low-priced. 4) People (infection route). The second wave of dissemination of the hepatitis C virus was stimulant abuse after World War II. Prior to the discovery of the hepatitis C virus, transmission resulted from repeated use of contaminated syringes. Although we initially thought that these four causes occurred independently on a historical chronology, associations between the causes were found when we investigated the problem with a fishbone diagram.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Yakushigaku zasshi. The Journal of Japanese history of pharmacy|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
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