On World Hepatitis Day, DHMH Urges Marylanders to Get Tested, Treated

Hepatitis C is most common chronic, blood-borne viral infection in the state
 
Baltimore, MD (July 28, 2015) – On World Hepatitis Day, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DHMH) Prevention and Health Promotion Administration (PHPA) is calling for increased awareness of Hepatitis C.  

“On World Hepatitis Day, July 28, 2015, the DHMH Infectious Disease Prevention and Health Services Bureau calls on Marylanders at risk for Hepatitis C to get tested,” said DHMH Deputy Secretary of Public Health Howard Haft. “Too many people in this state are infected and unaware of that status.”
 
Three and a half-million to 5.3 million people live with viral hepatitis. Of those, an estimated 2.7 million are infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C, the most common chronic, blood-borne viral infection in Maryland, is a blood-borne virus that causes liver infection.
 
National estimates indicate that between 73,000 to 106,000 Marylanders have become infected with HCV during their lifetime. Although 15 percent to 25 percent of those infected will clear the virus from their bodies without treatment, HCV infection becomes chronic in 75 percent to 85 percent of cases. Complications of chronic HCV infection include cirrhosis, liver failure and cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). Hepatitis C is often referred to as the “silent epidemic” because symptoms of infection may not appear for a number of years. For this reason, many people living with HCV are unaware of their status. Because of new innovations in HCV treatment, curative therapies with minimal side effects are now available.
 
Efforts to identify and treat people living with chronic HCV infection are essential to combat Maryland’s epidemic. DHMH partners with such organizations and agencies as the Johns Hopkins Infectious Disease Center for Viral Hepatitis, federally qualified health centers and local health departments to build the capacity for HCV testing, care and treatment in primary care settings. The goal of these partnerships is to improve the health of Marylanders by reducing HCV related morbidity and mortality.
 
People at greatest risk for contracting the virus include:
 
  • Baby boomers born during the years 1945 through 1965; 
  • Anyone born to a mother infected with Hepatitis C;
  • Anyone who received blood products with clotting factor before 1987; 
  • Anyone who received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992;
  • Anyone who has been on kidney dialysis for several years; 
  • Anyone with HIV;
  • Anyone who has injected drugs, even if only one time; and 
  • Any health or public safety workers who have been stuck with a needle or other sharp object with blood from a person with Hepatitis C or unknown Hepatitis C status. 
 For more information on: 
 
Hepatitis C screening and treatment, visit http://goo.gl/ZUa7Lb
The Hepatitis Prevention Program in Maryland, visit http://goo.gl/uXNZly
 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

Spring is just on the horizon and Worcester Health is encouraging residents to take part in this year's #1BillionStepsChallenge. Our team this year is WorcesterSpringSteps (#273). You can register with the link below through MoveSpring using the code APHA2019. It is completely free to register and participate.

For more information please contact 410-632-0056. Thank you!

(Click the image below to register)

Read more ...

What’s the Bottom Line on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults?

  • The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults.
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.1
  • E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine.
  • Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.

Click the image below for more information about youth vaping.

Read more ...

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms and blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice, and high winds.

Take Care During Winter Storms:

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors.

Learn more about snow and extreme cold safety here.

Read more ...

Local Health Improvement Coalitions (LHICs) equip local jurisdictions to determine their public health priorities and address specific public health concerns. The Worcester County Local Health Improvement Coalition seeks a broad membership from the community to assist the local health department and its partners in determining local health priorities and the Community Health Improvement Plan. 

Click the image below for a full schedule of upcoming LHIC meetings:

Read more ...

Salisbury, MD- What do you picture when you think of “heart health?” We asked women across the Lower Eastern Shore to tell their stories about how heart health has affected their families and themselves, as well as the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We are sharing those accounts across social media and screening the videos at the 2019 Go Red event in February.

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program