Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, often caused by a virus. The most common types are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
Hepatitis A is usually transmitted by the fecal-oral route, either through person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water. It can cause symptoms including fever, fatigue, nausea and vomiting but does not result in chronic infection. Some international destinations, including Mexico and countries in Central and South America, have high rates of hepatitis. The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is to get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is transmitted when blood, semen, or another body fluid from an infected person enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth. For some people, hepatitis B is an acute, or short-term, illness but for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection. The best way to prevent Hepatitis B is to get vaccinated.
Hepatitis C Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from an infected person enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sharing needles, syringes or other equipment to inject drugs, needlestick injuries in health care settings and being born to a mother who is infected. People born from 1945–1965, are also more likely to have hepatitis C than other adults (transmission of hepatitis C was highest in the 1960s through 1980s). For some people, Hepatitis C is an acute, or short-term, illness but for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection that can possibly lead to death. There is not vaccine for Hepatitis C, but it is treatable.
To make an appointment for hepatitis immunization or to speak to a Public Health nurse, call 970-879-1632 in Steamboat Springs or 970-824-8233 in Craig. Please bring your insurance card to your appointment. Low cost vaccines are available to individuals who don't have insurance.