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FW: NATAP: Hepatitis C screening urged in India

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  • alleypat
    Hepatitis C screening urged in India Staff Reporter Infection is totally preventable say medical experts Infection is totally preventable, say medical experts
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2006
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      Hepatitis C screening urged in India

      Staff Reporter

      Infection is totally preventable say medical experts Infection is totally
      preventable, say medical experts

      # Risk of transmission through sex relatively less
      # A vaccine is yet to be developed to combat HCV

      http://www.hindu.com

      CHENNAI: Experts have called for campaigns to promote screening for the
      Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), which is currently estimated to have put around 15
      million patients in the country at risk of fatal liver damage.

      The core message: although anyone can get Hepatitis C, the viral infection
      is totally preventable by following safe methods while undergoing blood
      transfusion, visiting the local saloon or having a tooth extracted. The risk
      of virus transmission through sex was relatively less, experts said.

      Though a vaccine was yet to be developed for HCV, the common genotype of the
      virus in the Indian population was responsive to treatment with therapies
      such as interferon, said Shiv Kumar Sarin, Head of Gastroenterology, G.B.
      Pant Hospital, New Delhi. While the success rate in treatment of US
      genotypes was around 50 per cent, it was around 80 per cent in relation with
      the common virus genotypes in India.

      Dr. Sarin was in Chennai on Saturday to deliver the inaugural oration on
      current concepts in diagnosis and management of Hepatitis C instituted by
      MedIndia Hospitals.

      Dr. Sarin, who also leads the ICMR's National Task Force of HCV, pointed out
      that though developed countries used Nucleic Acid Technology for HCV
      screening, the option in India was to undertake the SGPT or marker of liver
      injury a few months after one has visited a blood donation unit or dental
      centre.

      Epidemiological surveys by University of Madras had indicated a Hepatitis B
      seroprevalence of 4 per cent and Hepatitis C seroprevalence of 1.2 per cent
      in Tamil Nadu which was more or less consistent with rates in the country,
      said Dr. S. P. Thyagarajan, Vice-Chancellor.

      The survey was conducted by the University's Institute of Basic Medical
      Sciences which was a national referral centre for viral hepatitis.

      Dr. Thyagarajan stressed the importance of screening antenatal women to
      prevent mother-child transmission of the virus.

      T. S. Chandrasekar, Chief Gastroenterologist, MedIndia, pointed out that
      occupation-wise, doctors and nurses were at increased risk of HCV infection.
      Preventive measures included using protective wear.

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