May 19, 2009 was the 2nd ‘World Hepatitis Day’. Institut Pasteur of Shanghai (IPS) organized a series of events to popularize knowledge on hepatitis to the public.
Lecture: ‘How far is hepatitis C from us?’
This lecture was co-organized by IPS and Institute of Health Sciences, It was open to staff and students from both institutes.
Before the lecture, Prof. Vincent Deubel, Director General of IPS gave a short introduction about World Hepatitis Day. He encouraged participants to become ‘knowledge disseminators’ to improve awareness of public on hepatitis.
Prof. Jin Zhong, the Principal Investigator of Viral Hepatitis Unit of IPS, gave to the audience a panorama of hepatitis disease and hepatitis virus, the pathogenicity of hepatitis C and transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Prof. Zhong indicated that the incidence of hepatitis C in China among viral hepatitis is increasing. 50-80% of adults infected by HCV may become chronic HCV patients, which may lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Therefore, we should pay high attention on hepatitis C. Prof. Zhong said that there was no vaccine for hepatitis C at the moment, but the treatment of the disease is effective. In addition, prevention of virus transmission is very important to avoid infection, on the other hand, an early diagnosis is necessary for efficient treatment.
Xinmin Science Café: Hepatitis, an invisible killer!’
The hepatitis was the topic of the 85th Xinmin Science Café, co-organized by IPS, Shanghai Association for Science and Technology and Xinmin Evening. Prof. Zhong Jin and Prof. Xie Qin, director of the Infectious Diseases Department of Ruijin Hospital shared the knowledge of hepatitis with the audience.
Prof. Zhong presented in his seminar the basic knowledge of hepatitis and the transmission of HCV. Blood products are major channels of HCV transmission. Other transmission channels are sexual behavior maternal-neonatal (6%). Behaviors in daily life such as hug, kiss, sneeze, shaking hands, dinning, etc. are not dangerous for infection. Prof. Zhong also introduced research progress on hepatitis C. The vaccine for hepatitis C would not be available in the near future in his view. However, Prof. Zhong was quite optimistic in research of drug for treatment of hepatitic C. Novel anti-HCV drug is expected to put into the market in about three years. At the end of his presentation, he called for attention on hepatitis C from scientific community, medical sectors and the society.
Prof. Xie introduced the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of hepatitis C. She told audience that an early diagnosis was very important for treatment, hepatitis C could be treated during the early stage of infection.
After their presentations, Professors Zhong and Xie answered questions from the audience.
Mr. Yang Guangsheng, Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology chaired the lecture.
IPS open house to public
On 19 May, IPS first opened house to the public. About 70 people from primary school, army unit and company participated to a guided tour into laboratories. Posters on hepatitis knowledge and prevention were presented to participants.