Hepatitis C Awareness Day
October 1, 2004
From PhamaBiz.com we have a release about Hep C Awareness day.
What I find ironic is that the first notice I saw about this actually came on October 1st. What good is an awareness day if nobody knows about it. The World Health Organization needs to do a better job getting the word out, don’t you think?
Hepatitis support groups and activists here in the states could have really done something with this, if they only knew!
October 1 to be observed as world Hepatitis-C awareness day
Friday, October 01, 2004 10:00 IST
With the objective of educating people about hepatitis C, October 1 will be observed as the world Hepatitis-C awareness day by the WHO.
In India alone, it is estimated that 1.09 crore people have chronic hepatitis C. National trends indicate a sizeable concentration of hepatitis C cases in North Eastern India. Among the metros, 4 lakh Delhiites are suffering from Hepatitis C and Mumbai accounts for 3 lakh cases. Gujarat also carries a patient load of 3.37 lakh.
The objective of the World Hepatitis-C awareness day is to draw the attention of people towards a virus that has emerged as a major global healthcare problem, infecting approximately three per cent of the world’s population.
Every year the number of people infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) increases by 30-40 lakh worldwide, adding to the 17 crore people already infected. The spurt in number is primarily attributed to low awareness about the disease.
“Today, new therapies have been shown to successfully treat between to 50 to 80 per cent of people infected with Hep C. Currently Roche offers Pegylated Interferon Alpha 2A (40KD),” said Dr. G. L. Telang, Managing Director, Roche Scientific Company India Pvt. Ltd.
About Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C is a blood-born viral infection of the liver that was first identified only in 1989. Few people realise that they are infected as the symptoms are non-specific (such as fatigue) and people tend to become aware when their disease is quite advanced. Transmission by blood products has been reduced to almost zero due to screening for the virus so today the most common route of transmission is use of unsterilised needles (such as those used in tattooing and by intravenous drug users) and syringes.
Hepatitis C is the most infectious virus having 50 per cent chronicity and is responsible for large number of patients affected with cirrhosis. If not treated early may require liver transplant or may further develop to liver cancer.
If 100 people became infected with hepatitis C, approximately 25 people would be able to clear the virus without any medication within six months of being infected. The majority, however (the other 75 people), would develop ongoing (called “chronic”) infection that will require medication to help get rid of it. Some people will unfortunately not know they are infected and will develop damage to their liver before the infection is diagnosed. Untreated, hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver cancer and some may require a liver transplant.