New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Every year on July 28 World Hepatitis Day is observed to raise awareness among people regarding the virus that can cause serious liver disease and hepatocellular cancer. It damages liver cells and is normally caused by hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D, and E. Worldwide, these viruses are the common cause of hepatitis. However, hepatitis is also caused by autoimmune diseases, inappropriate intake of medications, and intake of alcohol and harmful toxins. Among the viral causes, hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common.

Talking about India, The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified hepatitis as a major health concern for Indians. As per the health organisation, in 2020, about 4 crore people were chronically infected with hepatitis B, and 60 lakh to 1.2 crore people with hepatitis C. According to the Indian Journal of Medical Research, in India, about 2,50,000 people die of viral hepatitis every year.

As the day is here, we have brought you experts' opinions on whether Hepatitis can be transmitted to a baby from his mother or not

Can hepatitis and COVID-19 can be transferred from mother to new born baby?

Like HIV and hepatitis, COVID-19 cannot be transmit to the new born babies even if the mother had tested positive for the deadly virus, as around 250 nCoV positive women were found to have delivered healthy babies in Tripura, doctors and experts said.

Agartala Government Medical College's (AGMC) Microbiology department head Tapan Majumder said that it is a very positive development that in India there has been no such instance found where the Covid-19 is being transmitted to the new born baby from the mother even though the coronavirus disease is a communicable disease.

"Congenital and vertical transmission of coronavirus is not possible as there is no receipter at the placenta to receive or entertain the virus.But HIV positive and hepatitis virus can be transmitted to the new born baby from the mother," Majumder, also a Professor of the AGMC, told IANS.

During the two pandemic waves, since last year around 250 Covid-19 positive pregnant women have delivered healthy babies at the AGMC, Tripura's main Covid medical college and hospital.

Health officials in different northeastern states said that unlike in the first wave children below 15 years are also being tested for COVID-19 in reasonable numbers during the second wave in Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya and Assam, forcing the governments of these states to constitute panels of paediatric doctors.

A total of 31 minor girls and eight caretakers at two orphanage homes in Tripura have recently tested positive for Covid-19 and most of them have already recovered from the infectious disease.

As the nature and intensity of the second wave of COVID-19 are diverse, physician Pradip Bhowmik has suggested forming study groups for an in-depth study of the disease.

"It is witnessed in the second wave that during the post-COVID period many patients are being affected by pneumonia and some by mucormycosis (black fungus)."

Unlike in the first wave, a large number of young people and children are being infected by the coronavirus. In the second wave the recovery rate is very slow and the death rate is higher," Bhowmik told IANS.

He said that it is being observed that Indian strains of the virus are more dangerous then the UK and Brazilian variants.Bhowmik, who is an expert in Hepatitis disease and has worked on the disease in the northeastern states and Bangladesh, said that genetically tribals' immunity is always better but they are also falling prey to Covid-19, necessitating a serious study.

Of the 45.58 million populations of the eight northeastern states including Sikkim, tribals constitute around 29 per cent of the total populace.

With inputs from IANS.

Posted By: Sanyukta Baijal