Hepatitis A /Hepatitis B /Hepatitis C

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HEPATITIS A, B, and C are the most common forms of the hepatitis virus in the United States.  For more information go to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the American Liver Foundation

The Connecticut Department of Public Health’s Hepatitis website page also provides information and prevention program planning for hepatitis A, B and C, including fact sheets, CDC Guidelines and Recommendations, and other pertinent information regarding the disease.

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter – even in microscopic amounts – from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces or stool of an infected person. It also may be spread through close contact with an infectious person.

Individuals concerned that they may be sick or have been exposed to someone who is sick with hepatitis A: should call their physician or their local or state health department.  Persons experiencing drug disorder use and/or homelessness and their contacts and who are interested in getting a hepatitis A vaccination should contact their local health department.

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can be either acute or chronic and is usually spread when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact with an infected person, sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment, birth to an infected mother, contact with blood or open sores of an infected person, needle sticks or sharp instrument exposures, and sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person.

Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious lifelong illness. Today, most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs.

There are vaccines available to help protect people from becoming infected with the hepatitis A and hepatitis B viruses. These vaccines are recommended as part of the routine childhood immunization package and for all pre-teens.

There is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, although research in this area is ongoing. The best way to prevent Hepatitis C is by avoiding behaviors that can spread the disease, especially injection drug use.

For more information go to: http://www.immunize.org/


SOURCE: Connecticut Department of Public Health; American Liver Foundation