(WSYR-TV) — Hepatitis B is highly infectious, incurable, and potentially fatal. There’s no known cure, but there is treatment available, and a vaccine that can protect you.
Pharmacist Bonnie Hui-Callahan is spreading awareness about some important recommendations newly made by the CDC.
Beginning in 1991, hepatitis B vaccination became standard care as part of the routine childhood vaccination series. That’s why, if you were born before 1991, you are likely not vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus.
Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. For most people, hepatitis B clears on its own. Approximately 40-percent of patients with chronic hepatitis B virus may develop liver cancer, cirrhosis, or other liver complications. There is no way of knowing who will clear the virus and who will not.
An estimated 2.5 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis B infections. Approximately 80-percent are unaware of their infection, which increases the risk that they may unknowingly spread it to others. In fact, new infections are highest among people ages 30 to 59 years old.
The best way to prevent hepatitis B is by being vaccinated. That’s why the CDC is recommending previously unvaccinated adults ages 19 to 59 years old get caught up on their hepatitis B vaccination status.
Learn more about the vaccine at dynavax.com.