Hepatitis C

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Here are some depressing facts about Hepatitis C in Egypt.

  • Egypt has the highest HCV prevelance worldwide, rural areas have the highest level of infection.
  • In the rural areas of the Delta, prevelance rate of positive HCV antibodies is around 24%. Cairo; 19%.
  • It is the most common cause of liver disease in Egypt.
  • In Egypt people who did the following are in a higher risk for infection:

    • previous injection chemotherapy for Bilharziasis, blood transfusion, surgery, ** repeated use of syringes and needles.
  • 91% of Egyptian HCV carriers are carrying genotype 4. Which has a poor response to therapy, compared to other 6 genotypes.

  • Probability of an infected wife to get her husband infected is 34%.
  • Probabiltiy of an infected husband to get his wife infected is 3%.
  • Most of HCV infected Egyptian children get their infection from blood transfusions.

(*) In the seventies, Organic antimony compounds (tartar emetic) were used to treat Bilharziasis. Antimony is very toxic in itself and this type of chemotherapy is no longer used, since the discovery of Praziquantel. Which is a more effective oral drug against the whole range of parasites.

The reason for this parentral chemotherapy to be a cause in the spread of HCV in the seventies, is its nation wide adminstration without proper sterilization of syringes.