Ask your doc to get tested: World Hepatitis Day July 28

Ask your doc to get tested: World Hepatitis Day July 28
Viral hepatitis affects millions of people worldwide

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - World Hepatitis Day is July 28. The Illinois Department of Public Health is asking residents to ask their doctor if they should be tested for type A, B or C.

The Viral Hepatitis affects the liver.

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Each virus are highly transmissible through bodily fluids, sexual contact, and contaminated water.

"A person with hepatitis B or C may not show symptoms for years or decades," said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  "According to the World Health Organization, at least 60 percent of liver cancer cases are due to late testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C.  Timely testing and treatment can save lives, so for World Hepatitis Day this year, find out if you should be tested."

In Illinois, the number of reported cases of hepatitis C increased by 43 percent from 6,887 in 2006 to 9,838 in 2017.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis C

Vaccine

Yes

Yes

No

How is it spread?

Hepatitis A is spread when a person ingests fecal matter—even in microscopic amounts—from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from an infected person.

Hepatitis B is primarily spread when blood, semen, or certain other body fluids from a person infected with the hepatitis B virus – even in microscopic amounts – enters the body of someone who is not infected.

-        Birth to an infected mother

-        Sex with an infected person

-        Sharing needles/syringes

-        Sharing toothbrushes or razors

Hepatitis C is spread when blood from a person infected with the hepatitis C virus – even in microscopic amounts – enters the body of someone who is not infected.

-        Sharing equipment that has been contaminated with blood from an infected person, such as needles and syringes.

-        Sex with an infected person

Key Facts

-        Effective vaccine available.

-        Outbreaks still occur in the United States.

-        Recent outbreaks have been seen among individuals who use illegal drugs, and / or who are homeless,

-        About 2 in 3 people with hepatitis B do not know they are infected.

-        Hepatitis B is a leading cause of liver cancer.

-        About 50% of people with hepatitis C do not know they are infected.

-        3 in 4 people with hepatitis C were born from 1945-1965.

-        There is a rise in recent infections among younger individuals.

-        Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver transplants and liver cancer.

How serious?

-        People can be sick for a few weeks to a few months

-        Most recover with no lasting liver damage

-        Although very rare, death and liver failure can occur

-        Those with underlying liver disease or HIV are at risk of more severe disease

-        The risk for chronic infection depends on age when infected. When infected as an infant, 90% will develop a chronic infection

-        15%–25% of chronically infected people develop chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer

-        75%-85% of people who get infected with the Hepatitis C virus develop a chronic  infection

-        5%-20% of people with chronic hepatitis C develop cirrhosis

-        1%–5% will die from cirrhosis or liver cancer

*Chart contains CDC Information

Take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's online Hepatitis Risk Assessment to see if you should be tested.

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