Action urged against hepatitis C
( 2003-10-13 09:53) (China Daily)
Chinese health experts are calling for prompt action to prevent spread of
infectious hepatitis C, which has similar transmission channels as HIV/AIDS yet
is less understood in China when compared to other communicable illnesses such
as hepatitis A and B.
The Chinese Medical Society, with help of Swiss-based Roche Pharmaceutical
Ltd, is working on a national plan for hepatitis C prevention and control in
China. The plan, due out at the end of the year, will pass fundamental
information along to the general public and standardize practices in Chinese
According to Si Chongwen, an expert with the infectious diseases department
of Beijing No 1 Hospital affiliated to Beijing Medical University, hepatitis C
can be transmitted through blood transfusion, mother-to-baby, intravenous drug
use and sexual contact.
The expert quoted information from the National Centre for Diseases Control
that more than 60 per cent of HIV/AIDS patients in China are carrying hepatitis
According to a report from the World Health Organization, since hepatitis C
was first discovered in 1989, some 170 million people worldwide, or 3.1 per cent
of the world's total population have been infected. In China, the figure stands
at 37 million.
The bad part of the disease is that, unlike hepatitis A and B, which have
obvious symptoms such as high fever in their initial stages, people with
hepatitis C usually only feel tired and have yellow faces or jaundice, therefore
many patients ignore it.