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Title: Hepatitis B and C virus markers among new entrant medical students
Authors: Premawardhena, A.P.
Premaratna, R.
Jayaweera, G.
Costa, S.
Chandrasena, L.G.
de Silva, H.J.
Keywords: Hepatitis
Hepatitis, Viral, Human
Hepatitis B Antigens-blood
Hepatitis B Surface Antigens-blood
Hepatitis C Antigens-blood
Students, Medical
Cross-Sectional Studies
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: Sri Lanka Medical Association
Citation: The Ceylon Medical Journal. 1999; 44(3): pp.120-122
Abstract: AIM: To investigate the presence of hepatitis B and C virus markers in new entrant medical students at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya. METHOD: 456 students (mean age 24 years, SD 3.5, 257 men) were investigated before they were exposed to clinical work, using a questionnaire to assess sociodemographic factors and possible risk factors for contracting hepatitis B or C. Blood samples were tested for HBs Ag and anti HBs (n = 456), and anti-HCV (n = 162 randomly selected samples) with a third generation sandwich radioimmunoassay technique. RESULTS: The students were from 20 of the 25 districts in the country, although their distribution was not inform. A past history of hepatitis or jaundice was obtained from 24 (5.3 percent ) and 6 (1.3 percent ) students respectively. None of them had been vaccinated against hepatitis B. At least one risk factor for hepatitis B or C was present in 32 (7 percent ) of them. None of the samples were positive for HBsAg or anti-HCV, and only two (0.44 percent ) were positive for anti-HBs. CONCLUSION: Our results support the view that exposure to hepatitis B and C seems to be uncommon in this country, at least up to young adulthood. As most new entrant medical students are not immune to these infections there is a strong case to vaccinate them against hepatitis B before they are exposed to clinical work.
Description: Indexed in MEDLINE
ISSN: 0009-0875 (Print)
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Articles

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