Hepatitis

Hepatitis A, B, and C are viral diseases that affect the liver and each has different causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is spread when a person ingests food or drink contaminated with infected fecal matter.  Risk factors associated with hepatitis A infection include:  close contact with an infected person, international travel, household contact with a child in day care, foodborn outbreak, male homosexual activity and injecting drugs.

People are most infectious one to two weeks before they become jaundiced.  1 in 5 people with hepatitis A will require hospitalization.

There is an effective vaccine available for hepatitis A, consisting of a two shot series.

Hepatitis A vaccinations are recommended for:

  • All children over the age of 1
  • Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Users of street drugs
  • People with chronic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
  • Family members who are planning on adopting children from a country where hepatitis A is common

Hepatitis A vaccinations are available through the Gallatin City-County Health Department.

 

Resources

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/A/index.htm

 

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus found in body fluids including:  semen, saliva and blood.  It can be spread through sexual contact, exposure to infected blood (transfusion or occupational exposure), sharing needles or by an infected mother to her baby at birth.  Hepatitis B infections can lead to permanent liver damage, liver cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma.

 

Hepatitis B vaccinations

Hepatitis B vaccinations are available through the Gallatin City-County Health Department

 

Montana Hepatitis B Perinatal Program

The State of Montana provides Hepatitis B Immune Globulin and Hepatitis B vaccines to infants born to women who are infected with the Hepatitis B virus. The Gallatin City-County Health Department coordinates with local health care providers in identifying these women prior to delivery, arranging delivery and administration of immune globulin and vaccine and providing follow-up with the child throughout the first year of life. For more information, please call (406) 582-3100.

Resources

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/B/index.htm

 

Hepatitis C

This virus is commonly transmitted by exposure to infected blood.  Common risk factors include:  injecting drug use, having multiple sex partners, receiving blood or blood products before 1992.  Hepatitis C can cause permanent liver damage, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The CDC recommends that Baby Boomers(those born between 1945 and 1965) be tested for hepatitis C once in their life.

Vaccinations

No vaccination currently exists for hepatitis C.  If you do have hepatitis C, it is recommended that you are vaccinated for hepatitis A & B to help prevent further damage to your liver.  Vaccinations are available through the Gallatin City-County Health Department.

 

Resources

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/c/

(Information provided from Centers for Disease Control)

Are you at risk for Hepatitis A, B or C? Take this risk assessment