How Hepatitis B, C Are Silently Killing India

Hepatitis
The Hepatitis B, C live in the body for decades, without showing any symptoms making them silent killers.
Highlights
  • Hepatitis B is 50-100 times more infectious than HIV
  • About one million Indians are at risk of acquiring Hepatitis B
  • 10,000 die from Hepatitis virus every year

New Delhi: Despite the cost of drugs coming down and dramatic advances in the treatment of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, getting rid of both types of the disease remains a huge challenge primarily due to lack of awareness and unsafe injection practices, experts have rued.

Hepatitis B is 50-100 times more infectious than HIV and Hepatitis C is 10 times more infectious than the virus that can cause AIDS. Yet, while people are by and large aware of HIV, there is little awareness about Hepatitis, health experts have lamented.

“In India, Hepatitis is a matter of concern because three to six billion injections are given each year, of which two-thirds are unsafely administered. This makes a large part of the population vulnerable to viruses transmitted through the blood,” Siddharth Srivastava, Associate Professor, GB Pant Hospital said.

Hepatitis B and C are silent killers. They live in the body for decades, without showing any symptoms. When symptoms finally appear, they signal that the liver itself has been affected, making treatment difficult.

About one million Indians are at risk of acquiring Hepatitis B infection and about 10,000 die from the virus every year. This number is huge especially considering the fact that it is a vaccine-preventable disease, Srivastava said.

“A complete evaluation needs to be done after Hepatitis is detected which would tell us the extent of liver damage and level of viral replication. This would mean a number of tests like viral load (PCR), ultrasound, Fibro scan, and at time endoscopy need to be performed,” said Yogesh Batra, Director, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, BLK Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi.

There are five types of Hepatitis named A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis A and E are water borne and spreads through contaminated water or food, often produce more dramatic symptoms such as jaundice, but last for short durations.

Hepatitis B, C and D are blood borne. Hepatitis D causes infection only along with Hepatitis B.

The concern is usually for Hepatitis B which can spread unknowingly from an infected mother to a newborn.

“Testing for Hepatitis B (HBsAg) is now mandatory during pregnancy. If a mother tests positive, infection to the coming newborn can be prevented by immediate vaccination (active and passive) to the newborn within 12 hours. Some mothers may also require treatment with oral medications during pregnancy to reduce the viral load and hence risk of passing the infection down,” Gourdas Choudhuri, Director, Gastroenterology and Hepatobiliary Sciences, Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon, said.

The irony is that Hepatitis B has a vaccine, but no cure, while Hepatitis C has no vaccine, but does have a cure.

“Hepatitis B vaccine is a safe, affordable, well tested vaccine which is now included in the infant immunisation programme. Unfortunately, a large number of citizen who are five years or older had not received the vaccine when they were kids. There is a need for everyone to get vaccinated against Hepatitis B as it gives a life time protection from this killer viral infection,” Choudhuri suggested.

Hepatitis C is also fairly common, with around one per cent of the population harbouring the virus without knowing it. Blood test is the only way to detect it.

The treatment for Hepatitis C is now simple and affordable with oral tablets clearing the infection in three to six months.

The cost of treatment for Hepatitis B is approximately Rs 700 to 2000 per month while that for Hepatitis C is around Rs 14,000 per month, Choudhuri pointed out.

“With modern oral medicines for Hepatitis C (sofosbuvir, ledipasvir and daclatasvir), complete cure of this infection is now possible in over 90 per cent of patients. In fact, India is the best place in the world today for treating Hepatitis C as these new medications are available here at one per cent of the international price,” Choudhuri maintained.

However, the experts suggested that there is an immediate need to put a check on the unsafe injection administration.

“Patients too need to be vigilant and know of the safe injection practices, like the use of sterile, single-use, reuse prevention syringes. Staff should wash their hands before administering the injection, and they should clean the area of the injection adequately. They should definitely not be touching the injection with their hands,” Srivastava noted.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

8 COMMENTS

  1. Dear All,

    My relative was diagonized infected with chronic Hepatatis B in June this year.The viral load was 5081 IU/ml.
    He underwent treatment at Trichur, Kerala for about a month. He was administered herbal medicine. It was a great joy and surprise for all of us, when latest report showed that viral load had gone below the detectable limit.
    I hope atleast people in India will be benefited by this medicine. The medicine is administered by the physician himself.

    Pradeep Kumar

  2. HOW l LOSE MY MONEY INR 26000 BY Dr(!) Osele…..

    Dear viewers,

    I’m a patient of chronic Hepatitis B in India. I was founding the permanent solution for this disease. In the meantime, i had seen the advertise of Dr(!) Osele in the internet sites like this site. I was very much interested about him and i was contact with him. He promised me, after taking his medicine, I’ll be totally curable cure. I asked him about the total cost for this. He told me, the total cost is $400(i.e. INR 26550). I was request to him, “I’m a low salaried person and could you please send me the medicine by taking a partial amount?”. He had agreed for taking INR 15000. I was sent the amount. After taking the amount he told me, there are a problem! Fedex courier service asked money $350 for sending this medicine from South Africa to India and it will be pay by you. I was shocked. I asked to him, how much weight of your medicine? why the courier cost is very much high and why you didn’t alert about the higher courier cost previously?? He didn’t reply this questions, he only told me, “if you give money at least INR 16000, I’ll send the medicine”.
    Dear viewers, please tell me, where are not possible to pay $400 for me then how I pay again the high courier cost $350??
    Then again and again I was request to him and at last he had agreed for send the medicine by taking INR 11000. I was sent this amount by hardly collecting from my relatives. After taking this money, he again told me, “There are a problem! The courier company can’t able to send the medicine, if you can’t pay the balance amount”.

    Dear viewers, please tell me, if I’ll again send money to him, what evidence that he’ll send the medicine to me?? If he really be a Doctor, why he failed again and again to send the medicine after taking money?? If he really be a good person, why he failed his words and harassed me again and again??

    Then I again and again request to him, “please send my medicine” and he again and again create presser to me for collecting money.
    At last I told him, “I can’t able to pay the total(?) rest amount, my financial situation is very bad, please refund my money, I am a patient and money is very much required”. But now he totally denying to refund my money.

    In this way, I lost my hardly collected money. I was suffered by him mentally and financially. I’m shocked for his words and activities. I’m a patient of a deadly disease and I was not expect this behavior from him. That’s why I’ve a doubt about him, he is at all a Doctor or not.

    Dear viewers, beware from this kind of doctors. I’m a loser and I don’t want that anyone will again lost his money. After not well knowing, please don’t send your hardly earned money.

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  4. I was diagnose of hep B for more than 2 years, all the medical doctors said to me there is no cure but it can only be control. Ever since then i have been running heather scepter looking for a solution to my problem, i ran into this online testimony of Mrs Stacey who have been cured of Hep B by this medical center she mention, i immediately contacted them, to God be thy glory i also got my cure am so happy today, please my advice is, if you have been living with Hep B contact them now don’t waste time and get cured, their email medicationclinic@gmail.com

  5. Viewers i am Geeta Kamar, am from India in new delhi, Me and my entire family has been suffering for hepatitis B from birth, We have gone to all the hospitals and there wasn’t any solution even our family DR confirm it to us that there is no cure for this disease but can only be control even my first child is Hepatitis B positive, till this day a friend of mine told me about this Dr Osele who have help her to get rid of this incurable disease name Hepatitis B, That was how i give it a try, to my fullest surprise me and my entire families are now Negative of Hepatitis B even it was a surprise to my scientist Dr who graduated with PhD here in India, he now direct all his Hepatitis B positive patient to this wonderful Dr Osele who cured all diseases with herbal medicine, don’t be left out contact him if you are diagnose with this same disease, after be cured he told me that he cured all manners of diseases,i am sharing this testimony both in internet and everywhere so that people who are diagnosed with kind of diseases should contact Dr Osele via email healthmedicallab At gmailcom

  6. Viewers i am Geeta Kamar, am from India in new delhi, Me and my entire family has been suffering for hepatitis B from birth, We have gone to all the hospitals and there wasn’t any solution even our family DR confirm it to us that there is no cure for this disease but can only be control even my first child is Hepatitis B positive, till this day a friend of mine told me about this Dr Osele who have help her to get rid of this incurable disease name Hepatitis B, That was how i give it a try, to my fullest surprise me and my entire families are now Negative of Hepatitis B even it was a surprise to my scientist Dr who graduated with PhD here in India, he now direct all his Hepatitis B positive patient to this wonderful Dr Osele who cured all diseases with herbal medicine, don’t be left out contact him if you are diagnose with this same disease, after be cured he told me that he cured all manners of diseases,i am sharing this testimony both in internet and everywhere so that people who are diagnosed with kind of diseases should contact Dr Osele via email healthmedicallab@gmail.com whatsapp no. +27846531636

  7. There are couple of big errors in this report
    1. Hepatitis B vaccine does not always give life long protection. You need to check the levels of antibodies in your blood and sometimes after every 5-10 years need a booster dose (vaccine).
    2. FOR CHRONIC Hepatitis B – Modern oral medicines don’t cure Hepatitis B. They stop the virus from multiplying and can even bring it down to below detection level, HOWEVER the virus still remains in the body and you have to keep taking medicines life long. If antibodies are formed then its considered as cure. However for Chronic Hep B patients antibodies are very rarely formed. So there is life long dependence on medicines. Perfect for the Pharma companies!!!

  8. My mother, a CKD stage 5 patient got infected with Hep C with viral load of 14000 units (not sure of units). We were advised to take MyHepLVR. We took for two months, not to mention a break in taking medicine for 4 days. Then continued full medicine for the second month and yes. it got cured. What a relief it was. Hoping that it does not return again.

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