Countless Portlanders and millions of Americans currently live with hepatitis*, yet many have no idea they are infected. In some cases this disease can be very mild with next to no symptoms, but others can be more severe and even fatal. Recently, hepatitis has been cited as the cause of more than 15,000 U.S. deaths per year. Fortunately, vaccines can help prevent certain types of hepatitis and treatment options are available for them that can greatly improve their prognosis once they are contracted, but it’s crucial that patients talk with their doctor and get tested.
“Because it can be transmitted through so many methods and doesn’t always present obvious symptoms, hepatitis is really a hidden epidemic in our country. If we can catch it early, it’s very common for people to go on to live a normal, healthy life, which is what we want for all of our patients.” – Dr. Chris Hyun, The Portland Clinic
May 19 is National Hepatitis Testing Day, and medical experts at The Portland Clinic are urging patients to talk with their doctor about getting tested, particularly if they fall in one of the at-risk categories such as adults born between 1945 and 1965, Asian and Pacific islanders, individuals with HIV or AIDs, and individuals who inject drugs.
To schedule an appointment to talk with a doctor about whether you need to be tested, visit The Portland Clinic website or give us a call at (503) 223-3113.
*According to the CDC, Hepatitis A is a foodborne illness, while Hepatitis B and C are contracted by blood or body fluid contact. Other cases of liver inflammation (hepatitis) include excessive alcohol consumption, medication-related side effects, autoimmune disorders, and inherited and metabolic disorders, among many others.