Wednesday, 25 July 2012
This Healthy Wednesday we are raising awareness of hepatitis. World Hepatitis Day takes place on Saturday (July 28) and Hywel Dda Health Board is hosting a question and answer session in Carmarthen town centre today (July 25).
Flyers and posters are also being distributed around the Health Board's hospital sites.
Anyone who has used drugs may be at risk of infection, as well as those who have had a blood transfusion before 1991 or had tattoos/piercings undertaken in non-hygenic surroundings.
So what can you do to avoid becoming infected with hepatitis? These are simple steps that can be followed:
- Do not share any drug paraphernalia. This includes needles, filters, spoons, crack pipes, water, straws or notes for snorting
- Never share personal items such as razors or toothbrushes
- Always use a condom when having sex
- If having tattoos or piercings, always use a reputable practitioner and ensure that the equipment used is sterile
As part of our ten pledges Hywel Dda Health Board aims to ensure that wherever possible, no one with a long term condition is admitted unexpectedly to hospital with that condition.
Of those infected by hepatitis B, ten per cent will become lifelong carriers. These are the people at risk of serious liver damage without treatment to suppress the virus and prevent damage.
The majority of people who become infected with hepatitis C will become lifelong carriers unless treated. While there is no vaccine against hepatitis C, treatment is very successful and carriers can be cured.
Hywel Dda’s Blood Bourne Virus (BBV) Nursing Service is taking an active role to help raise awareness. They offer a simple anonymous blood test to anyone who feels they may be at risk of infection.
If you would like to contact a BBV nurse for a blood test or further information on hepatitis, please use the number below:
Janice Rees, Lead BBV Clinical Nurse Specialist (Health Board Wide): 01437 773125
Nicola Reeve, BBV Clinical Nurse Specialist (Carmarthenshire): 01554 783535
Donna Blinston, BBV Clinical Nurse Specialist (Ceredigion): 01970 635614
Source: Hywel Dda Health Board