Florida Health Department Celebrates World Hepatitis Day

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show 75 percent of adults infected with hepatitis are adults born between 1945 and 1965.

While anyone can get Hepatitis C, Baby Boomers are five times more likely to have the disease and most don't know they are infected.

Because of this, liver disease, liver cancer, and deaths from Hepatitis C are on the rise. There are lifesaving treatments available, but individuals must be tested for infection before they can receive care.

That's why the Florida Department of Health in Bay County is celebrating World Hepatitis Day with a free and fun public screening event a week from Monday.

Eric Moncada, a health educator with the Health Department, joined us with more information Monday morning about this screening.

Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease that results from the infection of the Hepatitis C virus. While some who are infected with Hepatitis C are able to recover from the virus, most people develop a lifelong infection.

Over time, chronic Hepatitis C can cause serious health problems including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer and even death. According to the CDC, Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and the leading cause of liver transplants.

The only way to know if someone has Hepatitis C is to get tested. Doctors use a blood test, called the Hepatitis C Antibody test, to find out if a person has ever been infected with Hepatitis C. The Hepatitis C Antibody Test looks for antibodies to the Hepatitis C virus. Next Monday's screening will only require a mouth swab.

The free public screening event is July 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. a the Health Department on West 11 Street in Panama City.

8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647
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