Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis in Rajasthan, India

Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C viruses are the leading causes of liver cirrhosis and their prevalence in Rajasthan is around 3%, resulting in the large number of liver cirrhosis patients in the state. In government-run Sawai Man Singh hospital, doctors say out of the 10 patients admitted to the gastroenteritis wards, three to four of them are suffering from liver cirrhosis. Hepatitis B infection is the major cause of acute and chronic liver disease (cirrhosis). 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 12 million may have silent Hepatitis C virus infection.

The doctors claimed that these individuals do not know that they have these infections. For example, a person infected with Hepatitis C virus may carry the virus for as long as 10 years or even 20 years without presenting any obvious symptoms. Hepatitis causes liver cancer and liver cirrhosis.

A person can be infected with the disease at any age, but infection in early childhood is more dangerous. The complication among persons infected with the Hepatitis B virus early would be more in comparison to a person getting infected in his adulthood.

According to a health department official, the prevalence of Hepatitis B among blood donors is 1.3% to 1.5%. When people donate blood at camps, the blood is tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and malaria. It is done so that an infected blood is prevented from being transfused to another person.

If hepatitis and cirrhosis is detected at early stage then it can be cured through proper medication. If it is too late then the the permanent treatment for liver cirrhosis is transplant but there is no facility for liver transplant in the state. Moreover, cadaver donation facility in the state is yet to be introduced, which is why the donation of liver for transplant is not so easy here.


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