Continuing problem of hepatitis C in the district of Anantnag in Kashmir, India

There is a continuing problem of hepatitis C in Kokernag villages in the south Kashmir district of Anantnag. At least 10 patients have died in the past 2 months because of this infection. When hepatitis C was detected in Takia Magam and Sonabarie villages last year, it was found that almost 60 per cent of the population from the twin villages was infected.

Hepatitis C is quite common in India and is spread primarily by blood-to-blood contact associated with intravenous drug use, poorly sterilized medical equipment and unscreened transfusions. While there is no vaccine against hepatitis C, travellers can reduce the risk of exposure to this virus by insisting on the use of new needles and syringes if receiving injections and by insisting on the use of blood transfusions that have been screened for hepatitis C, if possible.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Hepatitis C.