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DOH-Pinellas Hepatitis Testing Day

By Maggie Hall

April 24, 2017

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) will mark National Hepatitis Testing Day on Friday, May 19, with screenings and education at its St. Petersburg and Clearwater centers. From 8:15 AM to noon on May 19, visit these centers for testing and education at no cost: 205 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg 310 N. Myrtle Ave., Clearwater

The term “hepatitis” means an inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A, B and C are the most common form of Viral Hepatitis in the United States. These viruses can have similar symptoms, but different ways of being transmitted:

Hepatitis A is a very contagious live infection that’s usually spread when objects, food or stool from an infected person are eaten by others. An effective vaccine is available prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Hepatitis B spreads via bodily fluids from one person to another. Sex and contact with contaminated blood can pass it on. There is a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B. Two-thirds of people with hepatitis B don’t know they are infected. Hepatitis C spreads when blood from a person with the infection enters another person’s body. Sharing needles is a possible mode of transmission. Baby Boomers—older adults born between 1945 and 1965—have the highest hepatitis C rates among age groups over 30. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that Baby Boomers get tested for hepatitis C at least once in their lifetimes.

The CDC has an online tool to help adults determine their hepatitis risk. Go to https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/riskassessment/index.htm to take the quiz. For information on DOH-Pinellas’ Hepatitis Program, go to http://pinellas.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/infectious-disease-services/hepatitis/index.html or call (727) 824-6932. DOH-Pinellas provides hepatitis vaccines at its clinics. For information about DOH-Pinellas, go to http://pinellas.floridahealth.gov/index.html or follow us on Twitter @HealthyPinellas.