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Viral Hepatitis

Florida Department of Health in Seminole County

Introduction

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis can be caused by many things, one of which are viruses. There are three types of viral hepatitis that are most commonly reported: hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. All three viruses cause very similar illness, however, there are some important distinctions:

  • Hepatitis A does not result in a lifelong infection and has a vaccine available,

  • Hepatitis B can sometimes result in lifelong infection and has a vaccine available and

  • Hepatitis C often results in lifelong infection and no vaccine is available, but treatment is available

For more information on the differences between hepatitis A, B and C, visit the CDC Viral Hepatitis website.

Hepatitis Prevention Program

The Florida Department of Health provides no-cost viral hepatitis testing and vaccines to individuals at risk for viral hepatitis infection. Those are risk for infection include:

Hepatitis A

  • Ingesting fecal matter (even in very small amounts) from objects, food and drinks contaminated by the feces/stool of an infected person.
    • A public health emergency was issued in August 2019 by Florida Surgeon General, Dr. Scott Rivkees related to significant increases in hepatitis A across Florida. For more information and surveillance data, visit the Hepatitis A website.

Hepatitis B and C

  • Sharing equipment that has been contaminated with blood from an infected person, such as needles and syringes
  • Receiving a blood transfusion before 1992
  • Birth to an infected mother
  • Sex with an infected person
  • Sharing personal items that may come in contact with blood (e.g.,toothbrush, razor)

Individuals who meet any of the above criteria, has been in close contact with someone with hepatitis A, B, or C, or has tested positive for hepatitis A, B and/or C can contact the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County Viral Hepatitis Prevention Program at 407-665-3243 to discuss testing and vaccination options.