Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hepatitis

May is Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month. Maine CDC issued a Health Alert on May 14 (http://go.usa.gov/pa8) urging clinicians to understand the burden of viral hepatitis in Maine and to follow key recommendations for testing and prevention. Viral hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation among adults in the U.S.

May 19 will be recognized as the first ever Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States (http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/TestingDay/). The “Know More Hepatitis” campaign encourages Americans to talk to their doctor and get tested. Viral hepatitis is a silent epidemic in the United States, because more than 4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C, and up to 75% don’t know they are infected. Visit www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis for more information.

An online Hepatitis Risk Assessment has been developed to determine a person’s hepatitis testing and vaccination recommendations. The tool allows individuals to answer questions privately, either in their home or a health care setting, and then print tailored recommendations based on US CDC’s guidelines to discuss with their doctor. It is available at: http://www.cdc.gov/HEPATITIS/riskassessment/

For information about where to get tested and/or vaccinated in Maine, visit www.mainepublichealth.gov/hep

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