Health officials outline testing recommendations for hepatitis B & C

MARQUETTE — In recognition of May as Hepatitis Awareness Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging all pregnant women to:

≤ Get tested for hepatitis C, ideally at the start of prenatal care.

≤ Get tested for hepatitis B virus during every pregnancy.

≤ Get vaccinated for hepatitis B.

According to Marquette County Health Department officials, individuals in the following groups should also be tested for hepatitis C:

≤ Adults born from 1945 through 1965 should be tested once (without prior ascertainment of hepatitis C risk factors)

≤ People who are currently injecting drugs

≤ Individuals who have ever injected drugs, including those who injected once or a few times many years ago

≤ Have certain medical conditions, including persons:

≤ who received clotting factor concentrates produced before 1987;

≤ who were ever on long-term hemodialysis;

≤ with persistently abnormal alanine aminotransferase levels;

≤ who have HIV infection

≤ Those who are prior recipients of transfusions or organ transplants, including persons who: were notified that they received blood from a donor who later tested positive for HCV infection or received a transfusion of blood, blood components, or an organ transplant before July 1992.

≤ Hepatitis C testing based on a recognized exposure is recommended for:

≤ Health care, emergency medical, and public safety workers after needle sticks, sharps, or mucosal exposures to HCV-positive blood;

≤ Children born to HCV-positive women