Getting a tattoo done? Take care you don’t get hepatitis C along

Ensure an infection-free syringe while going for tattoo. This checks the possibility of contracting the disease which, in many cases, rears its head after several years

All the pain you are prepared to suffer for getting a permanent tattoo will be doubled with this revelation: it can cause you hepatitis C. But if you are keen on flaunting the ‘special mark on body’, ensure an infection-free syringe which checks the possibility of contracting the disease which, in many cases, rears its head after years. “Infected syringe and needles used in making tattoo can cause infection which results into hepatitis C. So, if you are going for a permanent tattoo, insist on an infection-free needle. We receive several patients of hepatitis C who contracted the disease during the tattoo making.

They were unaware of the danger. But the awareness of the disease is very limited, be it people or medical practitioners,” said known gastroenterology Sudhanshu Patwari on the sidelines of the inauguration of Gujarat chapter of National Liver Foundation (NLF) on Sunday in the city. “It’s a general perception that alcoholics develop liver complications. But that’s not the case always. There are several other causes like contracting the infection during blood transfusion that can lead to hepatitis B and C. The early detection and treatment is very important. If remained undetected, it can cause swelling in liver, cancer and psoriasis,” said Patwari, state convenor of NLF. The NLF has started its first Gujarat chapter in Ahmedabad, a first in the country outside Mumbai, to create awareness of hepatitis B and C. About three to four per cent cases of hepatitis B and C are found in Gujarat.

LESS AWARENESS 

“The awareness of hepatitis B and C is poor. Before 2002, blood banks used to never check the blood for it. Therefore, anybody, who underwent blood transfusion before 2002, should not take symptoms like fever, swollen liver and jaundice lightly and immediately get the tests for hepatitis done. Early detection and treatment is very important. Otherwise, it can lead to various other medical complications,” said Dr Sameer Shah, founder trustee of NLF and head of the department of Hepatology, Global Hospitals, Mumbai. It is likely that the person initially will be carrier of the virus and the symptoms appear after several years. “It is often found in women in the age group of 18-40.

If a pregnant lady contracts it, her child will also carry the virus. That’s’ why hepatitis B vaccine is made mandatory for pregnant women according to central government guidelines,” Shah said. Gastroenterology Nilay Mehta said: “If a pregnant lady contracts the disease during blood transfusion, she may show the symptoms even after 10 or 15 years. While Hepatitis B can be transmitted sexually, hepatitis C occurs during blood transfusion due to infected syringe. Hepatitis is a silent killer. It damages the liver completely if not detected early. That’s why pregnant women must get it checked in order to check the transmission to future generation.”

 

The article appeared on December 2, 2013 in AhmedabadMirror.com

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