Unvaccinated Healthcare Workers Responsible for Spread of Hepatitis B: DAK

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Srinagar: Raising concern over growing number of Hepatitis B positive cases Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today said that unvaccinated healthcare workers are responsible for spread of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Kashmir. 
Terming the rise in Hepatitis B virus cases alarming President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement to KNS, said that unvaccinated healthcare workers (HCWs) are a constant source of infection and risk lives of patients.
The unprotected medical personnel are vulnerable to HBV infection which they can pass to hundreds of patients they come into contact with each day and can lead to institutional and community outbreaks.
Medical staff has no right to harm a patient and it is unethical to leave HCWs unimmunized as it endangers public health.
Majority of our doctors, nurses and paramedics are not vaccinated against HBV as they have not been offered.
Some of them have been partially immunized and quite a few have received all three doses of vaccine but have not checked their antibody titer to confer 100% protection.
Although HBV vaccine is currently administered to all children and infants as part of universal immunization programme but majority of adults especially high risk are unprotected and should be vaccinated.
The vaccination schedule for adults is zero, one and six months and booster dose is to be given to patients undergoing hemodialysis in whom antibody titers are less than 10 mIU/ml.
HBV infection is an established cause of cirrhosis, liver failure and even death.
Blood banks, unsafe therapeutic injections and unhygienic dental clinics continue to be important modes of transmission.
An estimated 2 billion persons worldwide have been infected and more than 400 million are chronic carriers of which 40 million are in India.
The best way to protect high risk groups is vaccination and it is obligatory on state to vaccinate HCWs on priority to protect public health. (KNS)

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