10 million people infected with hepatitis virus

Nearly one crore people in the country are infected with hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus, said a study report recently.

Hepatology Society conducted the study on the Prevalence of hepatitis B and C virus throughout the country.

According to the study, around 325 million people living with viral hepatitis globally, of them nearly 10 million are Bangladeshis as they are infected with hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus.

Overall prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Bangladesh was 5.1 percent and hepatitis C (HCV) 0.2 percent, president of the society Prof Mobin Khan told BSS.

It means about 8.5 million people are carrying HBV while 1 in every 500 people are infected with HCV, he said, adding that about one crore people are infected with Hepatitis HBV or HCV in the country.

Of them, 5.7m are male while 2.8m are female, General Secretary of the Hepatology Society Dr. Shahinul Alam said.

HBV caused 60 percent of liver cirrhosis while 30 percent caused by HCV. HBV caused 65 percent of liver cancer and HCV caused 17 percent in the country, he said.

Emphasizing on creating awareness about the deadly disease Secretary General of National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh Prof. Mohammad Ali said it is astonishing that globally 325m or nine out of ten people are living with viral hepatitis and they are unaware about the existence of the virus in their body.

This unaware population is not only at high risk for developing liver cirrhosis and liver cancer for themselves but they are also silently transmitting and infecting others in different ways, he said.

Around 1.34m deaths occur every year due to viral hepatitis.

Unless there is a massive scale-up in screening, diagnosis and linkage to care, more people will become infected and lives will continue to be lost, said the expert.