KARACHI: The prevalence rate of hepatitis in Pakistan has surpassed all critical levels and it seems the country is now endemic to the disease, particularly given that the all five types – from Hepatitis A to Hepatitis E – are found in our patients.
Hepatitis B and C, which are mostly caused by a viral infection, remain the major cause of surging liver failure cases in Pakistan. Throughout the world, five billion people are infected only with Hepatitis A. Types A and E are acute viral infections, typically transmitted through food or water contaminated by faecal matter.
This information was shared by Professor Dr S M Wasim Jafri, associate dean and chairman of the Department of Professional Education, Hepatologist, at a public awareness seminar titled “Hepatitis and its Prevention”, held at the Dr Panjwani Centre for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi on Friday.
According to Professor Jafri, also consultant gastroenterologist at the Aga Khan University Hospital, symptoms of the liver problem can include jaundice abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
“The hepatitis E is common in Pakistan, China and other parts of the world,” he mentioned.
Talking about the global burden of the disease, he further said that as many as five billion people were infected only with hepatitis A, four billion infected with HBV, 200 million with HCV, 17 million with HDV and two billion with HEV.
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