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Hepatitis tied to poor hygiene

UNHYGIENIC habits are a major cause of hepatitis B infections in young adults in Shanghai, according to the city's disease control authority.

Young adults could get HBV via dental surgery at small clinics, ear-piercing or unprotected sex, said Kang Laiyi from the Shanghai Disease Control and Prevention Center.

Kang added that about 30 percent of these young patients were infected due to insanitary habits.

Meanwhile, young adults account for 5 percent of total HBV carriers in the city, a little bit higher than in previous years, according to Kang.

A junior college student reportedly was infected with HBV after having her teeth cleaned at a dental clinic.

Kang said people having their teeth cleaned or getting their ears pierced at unlicensed clinics or salons were at risk of an HBV infection as blood accumulated on insanitary tools could transmit the virus.

Kang suggested young people avoid smoking, drinking and drugs as well as other unhealthy habits, but not to discriminate against HBV carriers or patients. He said people with the virus can live a healthy lifestyle to avoid further liver damage.

More than 9 percent of Chinese college students were infected with the disease, according to a six-month nationwide survey on 729,000 students from 59 colleges.

Only 30 percent of China's college students have been inoculated against hepatitis B, leading to a higher-than-average infection rate, said Yang Xizhong, secretary general of the Chinese Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control, on Sunday.

The infection rate topped 10 percent in some provinces such as Jiangxi, Guangdong, Hubei and Fujian. The average infection rate among those aged 15 to 59 was about 8.57 percent nationwide, Yang said.

Hepatitis B can cause inflammation of the liver, vomiting and jaundice. Chronic hepatitis B may eventually cause liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.


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