New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine has been jointly awarded  to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus". The three have been honoured with the prestigious award for making a "decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world, the jury said..

The World Health Organisation 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 medicine prize holds significance this year due to the covid pandemic, which has highlighted the importance that medical research has for societies and economies around the world. However, it is unlikely that the winners will have been directly involved in researching the new virus, as the prize usually goes to discoveries made many years or even decades ago.

The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1,118,000), courtesy of a bequest left 124 years ago by the prize's creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. 

The Nobel Committee often recognizes basic science that has laid the foundations for practical applications in common use today.

The award is the first of six prizes being announced through Oct. 12. The other prizes are for outstanding work in the fields of physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics.

(with AP inputs)

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha