Picture used for representational purpose. (Photo: DC/file)
Hyderabad: Viral hepatitis is a major threat and continues to remain a cause for concern on World Hepatitis Day observed on July 28. Unsafe blood transfusion, reuse of needles for tattoos, acupuncture, ear-piercing, and used health instruments spread the virus. Recent studies have found that 5 out of every 100 people in India suffer from hepatitis.
The number in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana stands as high as 9 out of every 100 people. Dr Manisha Bangar, chief consultant hepatologist and liver transplant specialist, said, "If the virus is acquired in early childhood due to unhealthy practices such as sharing of toothbrush, contact with a person who has infected skin cuts, playing with used razors and living in unhygienic conditions, then the problems are very acute. This is because the individual does not develop a strong immune system to fight the disease. The damage to the liver begins from the early stages and when it aggravates, the patient comes to the hospital."
Since only 21 per cent of the Indian population has proper sanitation facilities the spread of hepatitis in India is very high. Dr Ajit Kumar, HoD, department of medical Gastroentrology in Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences explained, "Regular interventions in society will create awareness. Prevention is the key to stop the spread of the disease."
The increasing number of Hepatitis B and C in the general population shows that there is a need for vaccination as it will help to keep the liver safe.