Hepatitis is among the ten most important killers in the world. There are 350 million Hepatitis B (Hep-B) positive people worldwide and about one million die each year from Hep-B infections, making it the ninth leading cause of death worldwide. Hepatitis is a disease that can be caused by a variety of different viruses such as Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. It is characterised by jaundice, enlarged liver, fever, fatigue and abnormal liver function tests.
The numbers of patients dying of Hep-B each year are 10 times more than that of AIDS. Hepatitis is more common and a more serious disease in India. It is estimated that nearly 40 million Indians are suffering from Hep-B and 11 million from Hep-C. These are the commonest cause of liver failure and liver cancer.
India has the highest number of Hep-E patients and second highest Hep-B patients.About four percent of Indians carry HBV with them, with a total pool of 40 million carriers and one percent carry Hep-C virus, so another 11 million carriers. But today, Hep-A and B are preventable with vaccines and elementary life-style modifications.