FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 17, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The state of South Carolina will observe national Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19 to encourage testing for viral hepatitis C, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.
"Over three million Americans have hepatitis C, but up to 75 percent of them don't know it," said Lisa Waddell, M.D. and deputy director of Preventive Services at DHEC. "Viral hepatitis is considered a 'silent' epidemic in the United States because it progresses slowly and rarely causes noticeable symptoms of liver damage until decades after infection."
There are an estimated 58,000 to 85,000 people living with chronic hepatitis B or C in South Carolina. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of serious health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer and even death.
For information about the risks for hepatitis B and C and where to get tested, call DHEC's toll-free hotline at 1-800-322-2437 or go to DHEC's website at: http://www.scdhec.gov/stdhiv.
For more information:
Jim Beasley- (803) 898-7769