Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chicago: Liver Virus Concerns Prompt Free Hepatitis Screenings

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a virus 100 times more infectious than HIV, that can live for a week outside the body on razors and toothbrushes, that destroys the liver through cirrhosis and cancer, and doctors and patients may not even realize it’s there until it kills the host, and infects others.

It’s this insidious nature of viral hepatitis that has healthcare workers nationwide urging people to take advantage of the free blood tests on Monday, May 19th –National Hepatitis Testing Day.

Hepatitis B and C affects Baby Boomers, Asian and Pacific Islanders at higher rates than other groups, and globally, 160 million people are currently infected, with 3-4 million new infections every year. In America, one in every 12 Asian Americans has chronic Hepatitis B and patients may not even know they have it until it’s too late.

The San Francisco-based Asian Week Foundation is working with the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable to organize the testing efforts in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York.

Free testing is available in Chicago on a rotating basis in May at these locations:

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