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Reducing Your Risk of Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis is a contagious disease that is preventable. Basic preventive principles include avoiding contact with other people’s blood or bodily fluids and practicing good sanitation. In addition, vaccines are available to prevent some types of hepatitis. They are given to people at high risk of contracting the disease.
Avoid Contact With Blood and Bodily Fluids
Infected blood and bodily fluids can spread hepatitis. To avoid contact:
Practice Good Sanitation
Good sanitation can prevent the transmission of some forms of hepatitis.
Get a Vaccine, If Recommended
Get Immune Globulin (IG) Injection, If Recommended
IG, available for hepatitis A and B, is an injection that contains antibodies, which help provide protection. This shot is usually given:
Kohnle D. Hepatitis A vaccine. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated January 2009. Accessed May 12, 2009.
McCoy K. Hepatitis B vaccine. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated January 2009. Accessed May 12, 2009.
Preventing hepatitis. Hepatitis Foundation International website. Available at: http://www.hepfi.org/living/liv_preventing.html . Accessed January 19, 2011.
Stahl R. Hepatitis prevention for travelers. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/ . Updated February 2009. Accessed May 12, 2009.
Viral hepatitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Available at: http://www.cdcnpin.org/scripts/hepatitis/index.asp . Updated October 15, 2010. Accessed January 19, 2011.
What I need to know about Hepatitis B. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hepb_ez/index.htm . Published April 2009. Accessed January 19, 2011.
9/25/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Updated recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for use of hepatitis A vaccine in close contacts of newly arriving international adoptees. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009;58:1006.
Last reviewed March 2013 by Daus Mahnke, MD
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