Vital Signs: Hepatitis awareness

Medical news

Millions upon millions of people are affected by Hepatitis A, B, C, and D.

It’s a liver disease that’s quite common in some parts of the world.

Meghan Freeze is a nurse practitioner at CHI Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney. She points out what hepatitis can do to the body and, more specifically, the liver.

People can suffer from cirrhosis or even liver cancer.

iIt can start as fatigue, nausea or poor appetite, and it’s spread usually by infected blood.

"Basically Hepatitis C is a virus that attacks the liver resulting in chronic diseases with problems later in life," said Freeze.

Hepatitis rates have gone down over the years substantially, but baby boomers have tested positive at a higher rate.

There is a cure. With oral medication, in mere weeks symptoms can be gone with the virus run out of the system.

"It used to be taboo. The treatments were rough, side effects rough. Now patients can be cured with proper treatment," said Freeze.

Now health workers are urging folks to get tested for hepatitis.

On the Centers for Disease Control website you can answer some questions anonymously to see if you should get tested for hepatitis.

"The month of May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and if anyone is interested in getting screened they can make an appointment at the Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Group," said Freeze.

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