Eleven die of hepatitis-D in Gujarat district

February 13th, 2009 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Feb 13 (IANS) Eleven deaths due to hepatitis-D were reported so far in Modasa taluka of Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district in the last five days, health officials here said.
Officials said 21 patients are admitted to various hospitals in the area so far, and five were rushed to the civil hospital in Ahmedabad Friday.

“We have asked for a central team from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the Director General of Health Services (DGHS) and the team is arriving shortly,” said Chief District Health Officer (CDHO) H.F. Patel.

A three-member team from the B.J. Medical College, Ahmedabad, led by Nayan Qadri has already arrived in Modasa Thursday. “At present five doctors and 27 paramedics are in the area,” Patel said.

The hepatitis-D virus (also called delta virus) is a small circular RNA virus and affects humans only in the presence of hepatitis-B infection. It is transmitted by blood and blood products. The risk factors for infection are similar to those for hepatitis-B virus infection.

The hepatitis-D virus most often infects intravenous drug users, Patel said.

“We have published 25,000 pamphlets and we are circulating them as part of our awareness campaign,” he said.

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