Clean habits can prevent most common forms of hepatitis
The most prevalent forms of hepatitis viruses, A, B and C, are preventable,
UT Southwestern Medical Center liver specialists say.
Now that donated blood is routinely screened for viruses, hepatitis B and C is not contracted from the blood supply. Hepatitis A can be contracted via food borne transmission or hand-to-mouth exposure to individuals during their infection.
Hepatitis B and C are spread mainly by injection drug use and by sexual transmission and can be avoided by developing common-sense cleanliness habits, says hepatitis expert Dr. William Lee, professor of internal medicine — digestive and liver diseases.
Dr. Lee says steps that people can take to avoid contracting hepatitis include:
- obtaining vaccinations for hepatitis A and B if at high risk of exposure. (People at high risk include those who eat raw clams, oysters and mussels frequently; work in day care centers; use illegal drugs or travel to developing countries.);
- washing hands with soap and water after bowel movements and before handling food;
- using latex condoms during sex;
- avoiding the sharing of insulin lancets, pens or syringes;
- not sharing personal items such as toothbrushes, razors and nail clippers; and
- not getting tattoos.
Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/digestive to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in digestive disorders.
May is Hepatitis Awareness Month
Media Contact: LaKisha Ladson