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World Hepatitis Day
Little Rock, Ark. – July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. It is estimated that 290 million people worldwide have viral hepatitis and do not know. Hepatitis causes significant health problems, and even loss of life.
Symptoms of hepatitis C include: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, light-colored stool, loss of appetite, fever, abdominal pain, fatigue, joint pain, dark urine and/or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Some people do not experience any symptoms at all. Hepatitis C is contagious through contact with an infected person’s blood or instruments contaminated with an infected person’s blood.
The Centers for Disease Control now recommends one-time hepatitis C testing of all adults (18 years and older), all pregnant women during every pregnancy and ongoing regular testing for people with risk factors, including those who use injection drugs.
Treatment is available in the form of oral medication that is usually taken for eight to 12 weeks and may be covered by private insurance, federal insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. In addition, those who have no insurance and/or financial hardships can receive assistance with medication treatments through application with pharmaceutical companies. According to the CDC, over 90% of patients can be cured of their infection.
Please contact your doctor to make an appointment or seek appropriate medical care if you suspect you have hepatitis C. Testing is also available through your local county health unit.
As you seek treatment or a test, remember to take important precautions against COVID-19 including wearing a face covering, washing your hands frequently and practicing physical distancing.