Hepatitis B warning for Turkey



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Hepatitis B warning when traveling to Turkey. According to a Turkish study, seven percent of razors in traditional hairdressing salons (barbers) are contaminated with hepatitis B viruses.

(April 25, 2010) The professional association of German internists is currently warning of possible transmission of the hepatitis B virus in Turkey. According to a Turkish study, seven percent of razors in traditional hairdressing salons (barbers) are contaminated with hepatitis B viruses. The reason: Turkish barbers often do not clean their razors adequately after a shave and use the razors again. Prof. Thomas Löscher from the Professional Association of German Internists says: "In a current Turkish study, almost seven percent of the razors used were contaminated with hepatitis B viruses". A visit to a Turkish barber should therefore be avoided.

Hepatitis B is very common in Turkey. Critical regions are said to be the east and southeast of Turkey. There, about 12 to 15 percent of the people are infected with the dangerous virus. The entry points of the virus are mostly the smallest injuries to the skin or mucous membrane. Löscher warns that the risk of infection in hepatitis B is 100 times higher than in HIV. In addition, the virus is also transmitted during manicures, foot care and the attachment of body jewelry (piercings and tattoos). Here too, the main reason is the poor hygiene of the providers.

Two thirds of all hepatitis B infections are asymptomatic. This means that only about a third of those infected show the classic hepatitis B symptoms such as yellowing of the skin, sclera (jaundice), dark urine, body aches, pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea after an incubation period of one to six months. Hepatitis B can take a more severe course, which can impair blood clotting and damage the brain. Chronic hepatitis B disease can turn into liver cirrhosis, then liver cell carcinoma (cancer). (sb)

Image: Dietmar Meinert, Pixelio.de

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