Dolpa, Oct 2: Hepatitis 'B' has been identified as an emerging serious health challenge in Upper Dolpa. During a recent health camp conducted at Dolpo Buddha rural municipality in Dolpa, 70, out of 343 who visited the camp, were diagnosed with hepatitis 'B'. It means that over 20 percent among those visiting the camp were found carrying the hepatitis 'B' virus in their bodies. Bir Hospital Kathmandu's senior liver disease specialist Dr Sudhamshu KC defines the situation as a challenging and serious one. "One among four is likely to be found with hepatitis 'B' positive in Upper Dolpa," he said, adding that in lack of timely interventions, it was likely to take an epidemic turn in the future. According to him, the cases of hepatitis 'B' are high in the adjoining Tibet, and it, a highly contagious one, entered the district from there. Besides, the lack of (anti) hepatitis 'B' vaccine for infants at birth is one of the reasons behind growing cases of hepatitis 'B' there. During the camp, it was found that people were not aware of the disease, he said, suggesting that the local government should immediately launch public awareness programmes to this regard. Most infected are from Dho village and the virus has been found among the people from Saldang, Bhijer, Chharka and Phoksundo as well. According to the camp organiser, the number of HBV infected is on the rise here every year. Even the entire family members have been found infected by it which can lead to serious complications including liver cancer and liver failure if not treated on time. Though the disease is considered fatal and not fully curable, its impact is manageable with the help of medicines. District Hospital Dolpa's doctor Melina Hamal advised for not sharing needle, personal belongings such as clothes and not eating food from the same plate by giving proper attention to cleanliness to prevent the infection.