World Hepatitis Day is July 28th and the Florida Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) seeks to increase awareness about viral hepatitis, which impacts the lives of 354 million people worldwide.
Hepatitis is characterized by inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States. Symptoms of hepatitis, if they are present, include nausea, fever, weakness, loss of appetite and jaundice. Hepatitis A is transmitted by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with human waste (feces). Hepatitis B is spread through contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. Hepatitis C is usually spread through contact with blood containing the virus. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C (HCV).
Currently in Orange County, there is a Hepatitis A outbreak. Since February of this year, DOH-Orange’s Epidemiology program has conducted several outreach events and administered hundreds of Hepatitis A vaccinations to residents and visitors of Orange County.
For more information on getting the Hepatitis A vaccine, please call 407-723-5004.
All types of viral hepatitis can cause inflammation of the liver; however, hepatitis B and C infections can result in a lifelong, chronic infection. According to the World Health Organization, viral hepatitis B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis, cancer, and viral hepatitis-related deaths.
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. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.
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