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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Hepatitis C in India

01 Feb 2013

An outbreak of hepatitis C has been identified in a remote village in Kokernag, Jammu and Kashmir state in the far north of India (situated mostly in the Himalayas).

The village has more than 7000 inhabitants and of the 1000 laboratory samples tested in the last two weeks, 300 have tested positive for hepatitis C virus. An awareness campaign has been launched in the village and an investigation into the source of the outbreak is underway. Local pharmacists are being blamed for the outbreak, however, the authorities have found no evidence implicating the pharmacists.

Advice for Travellers

As this outbreak is in a remote village in the Himalayas it does not pose a threat to most travellers to India. Travellers to India should be aware of the 'intermediate' risk of hepatitis B and take steps to reduce their exposure to the virus.

Hepatitis C is transmitted in the same way as hepatitis B and there is no vaccine available.