May 19th: National Hepatitis Testing Day

Illinois Department of Public Health

UNDATED – May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and Sunday, May 19th is national Hepatitis Testing Day. According to the Center for Disease Control, millions of Americans have chronic viral hepatitis and most of them do not know they are infected. Hepatitis A does not cause a long-term infection, although, it can make people very sick. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections and lead to serious health problems. The CDC says more than 60 percent of liver cancer cases are related to hepatitis B or C. As of May 15th the Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a hepatitis A outbreak comprised of 71 confirmed cases that are not associated with international travel or food-borne related. The majority of cases are among individuals at high risk for infection, including men who have sex with men, homeless individuals, and/or those who use drugs. According the IDPH, outbreak cases of Hepatitis A have been reported in Tazewell, McLean, and Will counties. The LaSalle County Health Department offer vaccines. Hepatitis Testing Day is an opportunity to remind health care providers and the public who should be tested for viral hepatitis.