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Human Resources

August: Hepatitis Awareness

Hepatitis is most often caused by a viral infection, but if left untreated, it can lead to death.  According to the World Health Organization, hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.  An estimated 1.4 million people worldwide every year are infected with hepatitis A, and 20 million people are infected with hepatitis E every year.  Over 1 million people died worldwide every year from disease caused by hepatitis B & C.  There are five main viruses; A, B, C, D and E. While hepatitis A and E are usually caused by contaminated food or water, the other three strains are usually spread by contact with infected body fluids or unsafe injections. Check out these 5 ways you can prevent hepatitis C, B and D, 6 ways to prevent hepatitis A and E.

Five ways to prevent hepatitis C, B and D:  1) Talk to your doctor about the hepatitis B vaccine.  2) Never share needles, razors or toothbrushes.  3) Use only  sterilized tattoo and piercing instruments.  4) Use condoms correctly and consistently.  5) Where possible, choose oral medications instead of injections.

Six ways to prevent hepatitis A and E:   1) Talk to your doctor about the hepatitis A vaccine.  2) Cook food well and eat it while it is hot.  3) Avoid raw shellfish and raw meat.  4) Always wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet, changing a diaper, and before preparing and eating food.  5) Peel fruit and vegetables and wash salads in clean water.  6) Only drink safe water.