State health commissioner urges hepatitis testing

File Photo.
File Photo.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s health commissioner is urging Hoosiers to educate themselves about the dangers of viral hepatitis and to get tested for the disease.

More than 6,000 cases of viral hepatitis were reported in Indiana in 2011 and most people with forms of the virus don’t know they are infected.

Monday is Indiana’s second annual Hepatitis Testing Day. State Health Commissioner William VanNess says getting tested for hepatitis is important because it can lead to liver disease and cancer.

There’s currently no vaccine for hepatitis C, but vaccines do exist for hepatitis A and B.

Health officials recommend a one-time hepatitis blood test for hepatitis C for everyone ages 49 to 69. That test can potentially save thousands of lives by helping guard against liver disease.

 

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