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Research finds high hepatitis B rate in Indian island tribes

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7258.404/a (Published 12 August 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:404
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. New Delhi

    Primitive tribes that live on India's Andaman and Nicobar islands in the Bay of Bengal may have the world's highest prevalence of hepatitis B infection. An Indian Council of Medical Research team has detected a prevalence of over 20% among the Nicobarese, the largest tribal group on the islands.

    The Nicobarese, with a population of 26000, are among six tribes that have lived in isolation for centuries on the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago hundreds of kilometres from the Indian mainland. The carrier rate for hepatitis B on the mainland is about 5%.

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