Health Department sends samples to New Delhi for Genotyping

HEPATITIS-C OUTBREAK IN SOUTH KASHMIR

MANZOOR-UL-HASSAN

Srinagar, Jan 27: Facing with the outbreak Hepatitis C infection in south Kashmir’s Islamabad district, the Jammu and Kashmir Health Department has send around 50 serum samples to the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) New Delhi for genotyping test.
 The test will confirm the “type of virus” and “level of infection” to help doctors determine the best course of treatment for the infected people.
 “We have done more than 200 tests in our IDSP lab. Initially we have sent 50 blood samples of villagers to NCDC. We are planning to send more samples to the center,” the Director Health Services, Kashmir, Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman told Greater Kashmir
 “Genotyping is important for treating the infected people successfully with different treatment approach for different type of viruses. Knowing the genotype can significantly reduce the duration and cost of treatment,” Dr Saleem said.
 Dr Rehana Kounsar, State Surveillance Officer, Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) however, she said treatment wasn't always an option, because the medicines used to treat Hepatitis-C don't work for everyone.
 “Being diagnosed with hepatitis C can change life of infected persons. They need proper approach and medical support to cope with the illness,” Dr Rehana said.
 According to her there is a positive indication that 15 to 25 percent people would clear the virus without treatment as symptoms of chronic hepatitis-C  can take up to 30 years to develop.
 “Most people who are known to have an acute hepatitis C infection get treated with medicine. In these cases, treatment may help prevent long-term (chronic) infection, although there is still some debate over when to begin treatment and how long to treat acute Hepatitis-C,” she said. “If patient’s blood tests and liver biopsy show that he has chronic infection but no damage to his liver, he may not need treatment. If he has some liver damage, then only he needs a combination of medicines that fight the viral infection.”
 Dr Rehana said that whether or not to take medicines to treat Hepatitis-C patients will need to have routine blood tests to help doctors know how well the liver is working. “If you decide not to be treated with medicines, your doctor will want to monitor you closely and may want to do a liver biopsy every 4 or 5 years to check for damage in your liver,” she said.
 The Hepatitis-C is usually treated with the combination of Medicines (interferons combined with ribavirin plus a protease inhibitor such as boceprevir or telaprevir), the Public Health Experts recommend. “They are used for 6 months to a year and help your body get rid of the virus,” they said.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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