Pennsylvania Legislature Designates May as Hepatitis Awareness Month
The Pennsylvania Senate and House provided resolutions sponsored by Senator Joe Conti and Representative Kathy Watson that designates the month of May as “Hepatitis Awareness Month” in the Commonwealth.
“Hepatitis is a very serious liver disease, and yet many people are unaware of how it spreads and the tremendous toll it takes on one’s health,” Senator Conti said.
“Hepatitis affects all Americans, and there is a tremendous need to educate the public about the risks, transmission, diagnosis, and treatment of this liver disease,” said Representative Watson.
There are three major forms of the hepatitis virus – A, B, and C - that can infect and damage the liver. Hepatitis A is vaccine-preventable and contracted through contaminated food and water; hepatitis B is vaccine-preventable and spread through infected blood; and hepatitis C is also spread through infected blood, but there is no vaccine available.
Hepatitis B is the world’s most common serious liver infection, and is the primary cause of liver cancer. In the U.S., liver cancer is the fastest growing cancer, despite the availability of a safe hepatitis B vaccine, which was named the “first anti-cancer” vaccine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“There’s very little public awareness about the dangers of hepatitis in Pennsylvania, and we need to change that,” said Senator Conti.
Dr. Timothy Block, HBF President, Ms. Peggy Farley, HBF Community Relations Manager, PA State Representative Kathy Watson, PA State Senator Joe Conti, O'Liver, HBF liver mascot.