Prevalent forms of hepatitis preventable

May 29, 2009 at 9:54 PM

DALLAS, May 29 (UPI) -- The most common forms of hepatitis A, B, and C are preventable, a U.S. liver specialist says.

Dr. William Lee of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas says donated blood is now routinely screened for viruses so hepatitis B and C are no longer contracted through the blood supply, but spread mainly by injection drug use and by sexual transmission.

Hepatitis A can be contracted through food borne transmission or hand-to-mouth exposure to individuals during their infection.

Lee recommends obtaining vaccinations for hepatitis A and B if at high risk of exposure. High-risk groups include people those who eat raw clams, oysters and mussels frequently; work in day-care centers; use illegal drugs or travel to developing countries.

Among steps the doctor recommends people take to avoid contracting hepatitis:

-- Washing hands with soap and water after bowel movements and before handling food.

-- Using latex condoms during sex.

-- Avoiding the sharing of insulin lancets, pens or syringes.

-- Not sharing personal items such as toothbrushes, razors and nail clippers.

-- Not getting tattoos.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: William Lee
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Study of antibodies in HIV patient may help lead to vaccine
Pepsi to launch own smartphone
History Channel special reveals Alcatraz escapees may have survived
Multiple attacks escalate Jerusalem violence; gun restrictions could ease
Genetic changes could make pig organs usable for human transplant