High levels of hepatitis C infection found in Kalala village of the Barnala district, Punjab, India

In the village of Kalala with a population of 2,358 people, approximately 68% are infected with the hepatitis C virus, according to a recent survey (28 positive blood test results out of 41 people sampled). There have been several deaths reported.

Hepatitis C (HCV) 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.

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