Health department recommends hepatitis vaccine, testing

JACKSON, Tenn. — May is being recognized as Hepatitis Awareness Month.

To participate, the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, are promoting education, vaccinations and testing.

The health department says hepatitis A, B, and C are all liver infections.

Hepatitis A can have the symptoms of fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice.

Hepatitis B can lead to liver damage and liver cancer, and can be contracted through sexual contact, used needles, and even from a mother to a baby at birth, according to the health department.

And Hepatitis C can be spread by coming into contact with the blood of an infected person, the health department says, such as blood transfusions and organ transplants.

Unlike Hepatitis A and B, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, the health department says. But it can be treated and cured.

“In today’s world of emerging and established diseases that cannot be prevented with vaccinations as of yet, we are lucky to have such a high rate of protection with the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines,” Epidemiologist Shanna Shearon said.

The health department says that it is recommenced by the CDC for children as young as one-year-old  to get the hepatitis A vaccine.

And for hepatitis C, the CDC recommends anyone born from 1945-1965 be tested, according to the health department.

“Hepatitis is a serious, but preventable virus if the proper preventative steps are taken such as vaccination, making healthy lifestyle choices, and knowing your health status,” Shearon said.

To schedule an appointment to be vaccinated or to get tested, call (731) 423-3020.

Categories: Local News, News
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