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DOH-Pinellas Provides of Two Days of Hepatitis Testing

By Maggie Hall

June 13, 2017

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) is urging individuals to visit the Pinellas Park and Tarpon Springs health centers to receive hepatitis testing and education at no cost. On Tuesday, June 20, and Friday, June 30, the department’s Hepatitis Program will provide the public with testing and valuable information about hepatitis A, B and C at the following locations and times:

  • On June 20, visit the Pinellas Park center, 6350 76th Ave. N., Pinellas Park, from 8 AM to 11 AM for testing and education at no cost.
  • On June 30, visit the Tarpon Springs center, 301 S. Disston Ave., Tarpon Springs, from 1 PM to 5 PM for testing and education at no cost.

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.
  • HepatitisC 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.

Infected individuals with hepatitis can live without symptoms for decades, hence the importance for people, especially Baby Boomers, to take advantage of this opportunity to know their status so they can get the treatment they may need.

The CDC has an online tool to help adults determine their hepatitis risk. Go to https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/riskassessment/index.html 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 or follow us on Twitter @HealthyPinellas.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.