The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

Health Unit Offers Free Hepatitis Testing This Week

Web posted on July 25, 2015

July 24, 2015: In recognition of World Hepatitis Day on July 28, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health recommends getting tested for hepatitis B and C. Public Health is offering free clinics in Guelph, Fergus, Orangeville, Mount Forest and Palmerston this week for anyone who wants to know their status.

"There is a vaccine to protect against hepatitis A and B; however, there is no vaccination for hepatitis C which can result in liver failure, cirrhosis and cancer," said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. "Early diagnosis of hepatitis C is important for successful treatment."

It is estimated that 600,000 Canadians have the hepatitis virus and many are unaware they are infected. Those most at risk in Canada are baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 (as a result of unsafe medical procedures and blood transfusion); immigrants with a high prevalence of hepatitis in their country of origin; youth engaging in unsafe tattooing and sex practices; and persons at risk from injection drug use.

Call 1-800-265-7293 to book an appointment for hepatitis B and C testing at a Public Health clinic.