ROUTINE SCREENING OF HCV IN ANTENATAL WOMEN-PROS & CONS
Dr. Rashmi Saxena* and Dr. Alpana Agrawal
Hepatitis C is a global health problem and affects 2–3 % of the world population .Hepatitis C is a viral infection of the liver. The acute infection is usually mild and undiagnosed and if untreated a significant proportion (80%) of those chronically infected will go on to develop serious liver disease in later life. There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C. With rising incidence of HCV in our country, a significant number of pregnant women are affected with HCV. Hepatitis C virus can be transmitted to the infant in utero or during the peripartum period. Approximately, 4–8 % of hepatitis C virus-positive women transmit hepatitis C virus to their offsprings. Prevalence of pregnant women positive for anti-HCV antibodies was found to be 2.8 % in Northern India. At present WHO, National Screening Committee, National Institute for Clinical Excellence, ACOG,CDC,SMFM recommends risk factors based screening of HCV in pregnant patient .But increasing prevelance of HCV infection & its dreadful consequences suggests a need for universal screening of pregnant women for HCV infection. Moreover in 40% of cases no risk factor could be identified.
[Full Text Article]