Over 30m Indians Have Hepatitis & Don’t Know It
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29 July 2011
By, Kounteya Sinha
New Delhi, India
Doctors Say No Registry On Disease
World Hepatitis Day
India is reeling under a serious burden of hepatitis. Professor S K Acharya, head of gastroenterology department, AIIMS, said studies reported from various parts of India estimate that about 20 million Indians are Hep B carriers and about 8 to 10 million may have silent Hep C virus infection.
“These individuals do not know they have the infection. We presume about 3,00,000 cirrhosis and about 20,000 liver cancers may be occurring annually in India,” Prof Acharya said. Acharya says India does not have a Hep B virus registry, or information on the disease burden.
“The treatment is expensive. Control strategies should include mass awareness, universal guideline for immunization and hygienic handling of food and water,” he added. Experts say India and China together account for for almost 50% worldwide infections.