China to lift ban on hepatitis B carriers in study, work 2009-12-29 22:24:59   Print

    BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- China is set to issue regulations to remove hepatitis B check from physical examination for school entrance and work, according to the Ministry of Health.

    Mao Qunan, a spokesman with the ministry, said here Tuesday that the move was based on related organizations' thorough demonstration in regard to whether hepatitis B carriers will affect other people's health.

    However, Mao said restrictions will still exist in jobs that may induce hepatitis B virus transmission such as blood sampling.

    "The list of these special professions that need restriction will have to go through a series of legal procedures for approval," said Mao, adding that the upcoming regulations will cover related aspects.

    In addition, the results of hepatitis B tests for other medical purposes should be protected as part of examinees' privacy, and such tests should not be carried out by force.

    "As we know more about the hepatitis B virus, our prevention and treatment measures become more specific," said Xie Rao, a senior liver disease physician with the Beijing Ditan Hospital, adding that the move showed that the country's understanding of the disease had entered a higher level.

    Zhuang Hui, a professor with the Peking University Health Science Center, said that hepatitis B virus can be transmitted through blood, sex and mother to baby transmission while daily contact in study and work will not lead to infection.

    According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, mother to baby transmission is the main channel for hepatitis B virus transmission in the country.

    Currently, China provides free hepatitis B vaccine for new born babies and children under the age of 15.

    Statistics show that in 2006, the hepatitis B virus infection rate among Chinese children under the age of one is below one percent.

    Zhuang Hui added that the country is currently working on a new plan on hepatitis B prevention and control.

Editor: yan
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