Source: Tehran Times
TEHRAN - Hepatitis will be eradicated in Iran by the next 15 years, the director for communicable diseases department of the Health Ministry has said. Infected blood, infected syringe, infected food stuff and drinks, and high risk sexual behaviors are of the causes of the hepatitis, Tasnim news agency quoted Mohammad-Mahdi Gouya as saying on Monday.
While hepatitis B vaccine is available for all age groups to prevent the infection there is no vaccine for hepatitis C, Gouya noted.
He went on to say that some high risk groups such as prisoners who are more likely to catch the disease would be systematically vaccinated as some 350,000 individuals were vaccinated last year.
"We are planning on vaccinate intravenous drug users and such other high risk groups as well," he stated.
Hepatitis B is manageable with drugs with the least side effects which are administered orally, he noted.
Hepatitis C drugs used to be injected and had some side effects but now with the emergence of the oral medications and less side effects the disease can be treated in three to six months, he explained.
The price of the drug used to treat hepatitis C is normally some 700 million rials in the world (nearly $20,000) but in Iran it costs some 20 million rials (nearly $600) for three months administration, he highlighted.
"If we manage to cure the disease in 15 years we would be one of the first countries succeeded in eradicating it," he said.
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