Reducing Your Risk of Viral Hepatitis

Hepatitis spreads between people, but it is preventable. You can lower the risk of hepatitis by:

  • Getting vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
  • Taking steps to avoid blood or bodily fluids from people who have hepatitis such as:
    • Using latex condoms.
    • Not sharing personal items such as razors or toothbrushes.
    • Cover cuts or scrapes.
    • Clean blood with gloves and bleach-based cleaners.
    • Donating your own blood before surgery.
    • Do not use IV drugs or share needles.
    • Keep from having procedures or shots you do not need.
  • Keeping food safe by:
    • Wash hands with soap and water before touching food, especially after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.
    • Do not wash food with water in places where water may not be clean.
    • Heating food to 185°F (85°C) for 1 minute.
    • Fully cook food to the proper temperature.
    • Do not eat raw or uncooked food in places where hepatitis A is common.
    • Use bottled water in places where hepatitis A is common.
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References:

Acute hepatitis C infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated November 15, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated May 14, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Chronic hepatitis C infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated January 31, 2019. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Hepatitis C—treatment of genotype 1. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated December 2, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Hepatitis C—treatment of genotypes 2-6. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated December 2, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated May 14, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated February 28, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Prevention of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated November 30, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Overview of acute viral hepatitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic-and-biliary-disorders/hepatitis/overview-of-acute-viral-hepatitis. Updated January 2019. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Overview of chronic hepatitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic-and-biliary-disorders/hepatitis/overview-of-chronic-hepatitis. Updated January 2019. Accessed April 18, 2019.
Last reviewed February 2019 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 4/18/2019

 

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