Hepatitis B and C cases are seriously underestimated in Indonesia (warning)

A study carried out by the Indonesia Liver Research Association (PPHI) has reported that only 10-20 percent of hepatitis cases are detected due to limited use of laboratory screening tests. A study carried out by the Health Ministry in 2007 found that about 30 million people were positive for hepatitis B or C. Especially vulnerable groups include health workers, intravenous drug users and children whose mothers are infected.

Travellers should be aware that hepatitis B is preventable through vaccination. When there is a risk of exposure to hepatitis B virus, travellers can reduce this risk by exercising caution and avoiding contact with body fluids, unscreened blood transfusions and unsterilized needles and syringes. Unfortunately there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Since this virus is transmitted in much the same manner as hepatitis B, the same preventive measures can reduce the risk of exposure.

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

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