A Hidden Menace to Society

From an unlikely research hub in Idaho’s Rocky Mountains, some 600 groundhogs are being deployed to test a bevy of drugs designed to offer a permanent cure for hepatitis B—which requires a lifetime of daily drugs to treat. As natural hosts of an HBV cousin, the rodents are a key research tool. 7 novel treatments have been tested at the lab this year.

But while HBV is at least 100X as infectious as HIV, researchers say there isn’t enough nearly enough energy behind tackling the disease and its main menace: a stealthy viral DNA that means many with the disease don’t know they have it.


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