NC officials warn of rising hepatitis cases - FOX Carolina 21

NC officials warn of rising hepatitis cases

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(file/FOX Carolina) (file/FOX Carolina)
RALEIGH, NC (FOX Carolina) -

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging residents to help stop the spread of hepatitis B and C, which are on the rise in the state.

Officials said in 2016, they saw 172 new cases of hepatitis B and 186 new cases of hepatitis C. According to DHHS, since 2014, new cases of hepatitis B have increased by 56 percent and hepatitis C cases increased by 69 percent.

The diseases can be spread by blood from an infected person, often through needles or other injection equipment. Hepatitis B and C can also be sexually transmitted.

DHHS encouraged those at risk to get tested, get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, and avoid sharing needs or other injection equipment.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, which officials said has been on the rise since 2009. Adults born between 1945 and 1965 are at a higher risk for hepatitis C and are also encouraged to get tested.

“We encourage North Carolinians to learn more about hepatitis B and C and talk to their physician or local health department about getting tested,” said State Communicable Disease Director Evelyn Foust.

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