SC to observe Hepatitis Testing Day

info@islandpacket.comMay 17, 2013 

South Carolina will observe national Hepatitis Testing Day on Sunday to encourage testing for viral hepatitis C, according to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

"Over 3 million Americans have hepatitis C, but up to 75 percent of them don't know it," DHEC deputy director of Preventive Services Dr. Lisa Waddell said in a news release. "Viral hepatitis is considered a 'silent' epidemic in the United States because it progresses slowly and rarely causes noticeable symptoms of liver damage until decades after infection."

An estimated 58,000 to 85,000 people have chronic hepatitis B or C in South Carolina, the release said. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of health problems like liver damage, cirrhosis and liver cancer.

For information about the risks for hepatitis B and C and where to get tested, call DHEC's toll-free hotline at 800-322-2437 or go to www.scdhec.gov/stdhiv.

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