Saudi Gazette – A senior medical expert has warned against joint cleaning of cups in a plastic or glass pot after serving gahwa or tea to guests, saying it was responsible for the spread of at least 10 percent hepatitis-B cases among the Saudi population.

Dr. Mohammed Al-Tufail, head of the department of medicine, herbs and poison at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, urged the public to use disinfectants while cleaning cups after serving a large number of guests to avoid catching the disease. “Gahwa and tea are served in cups to a large number of people during Eid Al-Fitr, Eid Al-Adha, weddings and other happy occasions,” he said while speaking to Al-Watan Arabic daily.

“Such happy events bring together hundreds of people and we would not know their health backgrounds, whether they have taken vaccine against infectious diseases such as hepatitis A, B and C,” he said.

He said the cleaning of cups jointly putting in a pot would not help get rid of disease-carrying viruses. “We have to use either disinfectants or disposable paper cups to avoid contracting hepatitis and other infectious diseases,” Al-Tufail told the daily.

He urged families and organizers of ceremonies to make sure the food suppliers are free from diseases. The suppliers should clean their hands using disinfectants. “Diseases spread through viruses, germs and bacteria and this could happen through touching or inhalation,” he explained.

Al-Tufail warned against kissing of children by elders or visiting of the elderly and patients during big events such as Eids, adding that it would lead to spreading the disease among them.

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