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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
INDIA: Study: Village in Kerala Tops in Hepatitis-B Cases
M.V. Pavan
December 20, 2012
Times of India (12.18.12)

The Indian Council of Medical Research identified 348 hepatitis B-infected persons in a survey of the 2,017 residents in the village of Ooramana in the Ernakulum District. The cases in Ooramana represent 17 percent of all hepatitis B cases in India, according to the Manipal Centre for Virus Research (MCVR). About seven percent of India’s population has hepatitis B, stated G. Arun Kumar, head of MCVR. Hepatitis B is typically spread among persons living together in one house. In contrast, the MCVR investigative team identified a high level of “horizontal” transmission in Ooramana, where hepatitis B-infected individuals transmit the virus to people outside the family. The two primary means of horizontal transmission in Ooramana are infected syringes and four barbershops that serve the village, reported Kumar. The MCVR conducted the studies in Ooramana during the months of October and November 2012.