WATERTOWN, NY – Anyone can be tested for Hepatitis C, but the Jefferson
County Public Health Service especially recommends testing for those born between 1945 and 1965 because they are 5 times more likely to be infected.
Also at risk are those who had a blood transfusion or a blood product like Rhogam before 1992, obtained a tattoo outside of a licensed facility, or injected or snorted drugs – even only once. In addition, men who have ever had sex with men should be tested.
Millions of Americans are infected; many do not even know it. The Hepatitis C virus attacks the liver. People with Hepatitis C often have no symptoms. Many people can live with an infection for decades without feeling sick. If left undiagnosed and untreated, Hepatitis C can lead to serious liver disease such as cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.
As part of Hepatitis Awareness Month, the JCPHS will be offering by appointment free Hepatitis C testing on May 6th, 12-4pm at 531 Meade Street, Watertown. Appointments can be made at www.jcphs.org
Hepatitis C can be treated. New and more effective treatments can cure more than 90% of cases in as little as 12 weeks. All individuals who test positive will receive educational materials and be referred for treatment. If you have any questions, please call 315-786-3720.