AUBURN, CALIF –Placer County Health and Human Services has begun hosting a hepatitis C support group for anyone who wants to know more about the disease and its treatment. The confidential group is offered at no cost, is open to the public and will meet from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Placer County Community Health Large Conference Room, 11484 B Ave., in Auburn.
The next meeting is Wed., Oct. 29, 2008, with additional meetings scheduled for Nov. 12 and 19, from 4:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. A second group is expected to begin later this year. Each meeting will focus on one topic and will be moderated by county staff that regularly works with communicable diseases.
Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from an infected person enters the body of someone who is not infected. Most people become infected with the hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. The virus can also be transmitted to those who receive tattoos or piercings in a setting that has poor infection control practices. Additionally, persons who received blood product for clotting problems made before 1987, or blood transfusions before 1992 may have increased risks for the disease.
Hepatitis C can be either “acute” or “chronic.” Acute hepatitis C virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the hepatitis C virus. For most people, acute infection leads to chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis C is a serious disease than can result in long-term health problems, or even death. Many of those infected do not realize they have the disease.
For additional information about the Placer County group meetings, please email or call to RSVP, Candace Jones (530) 889-7184 firstname.lastname@example.org or Dennis Cain (530) 889-7120.
For more information about the hepatitis C virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hepatitis C website: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HepatitisC.htm# or the California Department of Public Health’s hepatitis C website: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/HepatitisC.aspx .