Health Watch - Infections: Keep It Clean

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


The recent swine flu scare has made us more aware of how infections spread. This week on Health Watch we’ll talk about infectious diseases and how to protect yourself. Now that donated blood is screened for viruses, the most common forms of hepatitis can be prevented by cultivating clean habits.

Hepatitis A is most often spread through contaminated food or exposure to infected people, while hepatitis B and C are most often spread through contaminated needles and sexual contact. Dr. William Lee, a liver disease expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you can prevent hepatitis by practicing safe sex, washing your hands after using the bathroom and before handling food, not sharing insulin needles or pens, not getting tattoos and not sharing personal items. People at high risk for hepatitis A and B, including those who eat raw shellfish or travel to developing countries, should be vaccinated.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/digestive to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in digestive and liver diseases.

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June 2009


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