Hepatitis C hits Calcutta

Published: Friday 15 October 1999

hepatitis c is stalking Calcutta. According to reports, one blood bank alone has detected 40 cases in the last seven months. Doctors in the city has warned that like hiv and hepatitis b , all blood units must be screened for this virus before transfusion. Doctors say that the mode of virus transfusion is still unknown. Described earlier as hepatitis non- a /non- b , this virus was identified in Japan in 1994.

The majority of those infected do not even know they are harbouring this potentially deadly virus, which makes screening of donors' blood all the more essential. Not one of the 56 government blood banks in the state carries out this test. Only a handful in the private sector have equipped themselves for this testing, using the accurate but costly elisa ii R iba method. Between January and July this year, blood collected from 40 people at donation camps tested positive for hepatitis c.

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