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Department of Health Reminds Pennsylvanians of Prevention and Treatment Options Available for Hepatitis
May is National Hepatitis Awareness Month

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Harrisburg, PA - In observance of National Hepatitis Awareness Month, Acting Secretary  of Health Dr. Karen Murphy today reminded residents of Pennsylvania that hepatitis A and B are vaccine-preventable diseases.

‚ÄúPrevention and education are the most important tools a person can have to stay healthy and free of hepatitis,‚ÄĚ said Murphy. ‚ÄúMaking sure you have all of your vaccines is crucial to long term health and wellness. Hepatitis  can cause serious adverse health effects. It is our responsibility at  the Department to make sure people understand their ability to protect  themselves against these diseases.‚ÄĚ


Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are viral diseases that affect the liver and have different symptoms and treatments. Other causes include recreational drugs and prescription medications.


Immunization is the most important method to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine  for all children over the age of one year, travelers to regions with  high rates of the disease, men who have sexual contact with other men,  and those who engage in risky behaviors such as intravenous drug use.


Hepatitis C is a contagious disease usually spread through contact with blood  from an infected person through needle sharing to inject drugs.¬   Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C.


Individuals infected with hepatitis should seek professional medical help. Proper  treatment, including medication and health monitoring can often lead to a cure of the hepatitis infection.


For more information on the prevention, testing, and treatment of hepatitis viruses, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 877-PA-HEALTH.¬  You can also visit the department‚Ä™s website at
http://www.health.state.pa.us/ and click on the immunization link.

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MEDIA CONTACT:¬ ¬  Amy Worden, DOH, 717-787-1783¬ ¬ ¬ 

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