VIRAL HEPATITIS CLAIMS 2.5 LAKH LIVES IN INDIA EVERY YEAR

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

Kolkata, July 27: Nearly 2.50 lakh people in India die of viral hepatitis annually, which affects approximately one in twelve persons worldwide, experts here said today on 'World Hepatitis Day'.
Stating that some 500 million people are living with chronic viral hepatitis in India, they said that intensive awareness programme is urgently needed to be launched in every nook and corner of the country "with a spirit of commitment to fight the killer disease".
Virologists said that hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver and most commonly caused by a viral infection, has five main types A, B, C, D and E which are of great concern because of the burden of illness and deaths they may cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread.
In particular, types B and C lead to chronic diseases in hundreds of millions of people and together are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water.
Cautioning about spurt in Hepatitis B, C and D which usually occur as a result of contact with infected body fluids, experts said that about 130–170 million people worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus and more than 3.50 lakh die from hepatitis C-related liver diseases each year.
They said that approximately 70-80 per cent of people with acute Hepatitis C do not have any symptoms "which is a cause of concern".
World Hepatitis Day was launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2008 in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis did not have the level of awareness nor the political momentum seen with other communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Speaking on the occasion, Director of Apollo Institute of Gastrosciences Mahesh Goeka said, "Hepatitis is a silent killer as it rarely presents symptoms until very late. Studies reported from various parts of India estimate that about 20 million Indians are Hepatitis B carriers and about 8 to 10 million may have silent Hepatitis C virus infection."

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




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