Tuesday, June 20, 2006

HBV, an Asian Disease?


There are very few diseases that affect the Asian community with alarming rates. Well that’s all changing with Hepatitis B. More Asians are infected with hepatitis B than Westerners affecting hundreds of millions of Asians. The Asian community starts with a large number of infected people and this enables more people who can pass the hepatitis B virus on to others. Hepatitis B can infect any person of any age or race, but Asians are at much higher risk for getting infected. Worldwide, 75% of all “chronic carriers” of hepatitis B are of Asian descent. For more information about hepatitis B and the Vietnamese community, please read Dr. Trinh Talks About Hepatitis B.

When my father was diagnosed with HBV, the doctor immediately had my entire family tested for chronic carriers of hepatitis B. The good news is that there is a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B and new drugs for “chronic carriers.” Luckily for the rest of my family, there was no other person diagnosed as being a chronic carrier of Hepatitis B.

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