May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

Posted on: May 7, 2019

Contributor(s): PHS Editorial Team


This month, Primary Health Solutions recognizes Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month.  Each year in May, organizations across the nation work to raise awareness on the different types of hepatitis.  There are 5 different types of viral hepatitis but the most common are hepatitis A, B, and C.  


This year, there has been more buzz around hepatitis due to the nationwide outbreak of Hepatitis A.  Here in Ohio, we’ve been heavily impacted by the virus; having over 2,000 cases since January of 2018.  Butler County has been one of the highest counties in the state for outbreak related cases.  To prevent the virus, it is recommended that vulnerable populations get vaccinated and take extra care in washing their hands after using the restroom, changing diapers, and before handling food.  With the rise of hepatitis, it is important to understand the various types and how each one is transmitted so you can protect yourself and others.


Types of hepatitis:


Hepatitis A – Usually spread through food, drinks, or objects that were contaminated by feces of an infected person or someone in close personal contact with the infected. It does not lead to chronic liver disease, rarely lethal, and can be prevented via vaccination, sanitation, and food safety.


Hepatitis B – Infection occurs through blood or bodily fluids that are exchanged from mother to child during birth, people engaging in sexual contact, or people using contaminated objects such as needles for medical or drug purposes. This strain is preventable through vaccine and is highly recommended as infection can lead to both acute and chronic liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.


Hepatitis C – It is spread through blood from an infected person typically from injection drug use, unsafe medical injections or procedures, and sometimes mother-to-child transmission during birth. Current treatments can cure over 90% of the infected within two to three months preventing acute and chronic liver diseases. However, it is important to note that there is no vaccine.


Hepatitis D – Infection occurs from blood, but can only come about if the person is infected with hepatitis B. If vaccinated, people can avoid this strain all together.


Hepatitis E – People become infected from contaminated drinking water, which leads to symptoms that typically clear in 4 to 6 weeks. However, hepatitis E has a high mortality rate, as there are no specific forms of treatment. Though China has a vaccine for hepatitis E, it has not be released or approved yet by any other country.


Viral hepatitis vaccinations are available in our centers assuring that our patients can be up to date on their immunizations. For those who are infected with any hepatitis or have been exposed, should please report this immediately to your provider. If caught early, we can stay proactive in creating a plan to prevent health complications that lead to a more positive outcome.


For more information on viral hepatitis, click HERE.