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World Hepatitis Day 2016

By Arlease Hall

July 25, 2016

St. Lucie County, FL - The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County is recognizing World Hepatitis Day on Thursday, July 28th, 2016. NOhep… Our Next Greatest Achievement is the 2016 World Hepatitis Day campaign slogan and is linked closely to the World Health Organization Elimination Strategy.

Their 2030 goals include:

  • A 90% reduction in new cases per year - Currently there are 10 million new cases of hepatitis every year
  • Increase awareness among those who have hepatitis to 90% - Currently 95% of people living with viral hepatitis do NOT know they have it
  • To have a 65% reduction in mortality - Currently 1.4 million people die from hepatitis every year, that is more than malaria or Aids

Viral hepatitis is caused by infection of one of five viruses - hepatitis A, B, C, D or E. All hepatitis viruses can cause inflammation of the liver, and chronic hepatitis B and C can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Viral hepatitis is a major global health threat with around 240 million people living with chronic hepatitis B and up to 150 million people living with chronic hepatitis C. Many of those who are chronically infected are unaware of their infection and appear healthy while liver damage could still be occurring according to the (Centers for disease Control and Prevention, 2016).

St Lucie County has a 5 year average of approximately 375 Chronic Hepatitis C cases, 7 Acute Hepatitis C cases, 60 Chronic Hepatitis B cases, and 8 Acute Hepatitis B cases reported each year.

DOH-St. Lucie Health Officer, Clint Sperber wants everyone to know “it is important to get tested for hepatitis, especially if you have any risk factors.” To take the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Viral Hepatitis Risk Assessment please go to: https://www2a.cdc.gov/hepatitis/RiskAssessment/start.html for more information check out the CDC fact sheet on Hep A, B and C http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/abc/index.htm.

DOH-St. Lucie offers comprehensive testing at our Milner location for $40.00 dollars. This blood draw will test for hepatitis B, C, syphilis, HIV and also includes testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Although an appointment is not necessary, it is recommended. Please call 772-462-3800 for more information on getting tested.