The CDC declared May as Hepatitis Awareness Month. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E are viruses that damage the liver. Hepatitis C and hepatitis C are the leading causes of liver cancer in the U.S. It’s important that you understand these six facts, as these viruses are not just affecting people who share needles or are intimate with someone with hepatitis. It’s also not unusual for older adults to be completely unaware they have it until the damage has begun. Having 24-hour home care can assist your senior loved one in recognizing symptoms and eliminating risks.
66% of Adults Don’t Realize They Have Hepatitis B
Almost seven out of ten adults don’t realize they have hepatitis B. Not everyone has symptoms. Hepatitis B can be spread from a mother to her unborn child or in the past through blood transfusions or lack of care cleaning dialysis equipment, so recommendations are that anyone 18 or older gets tested at least once in their lifetime.
40% of Adults Don’t Realize They Have Hepatitis C
Four out of ten don’t realize they have hepatitis C. Like hepatitis C, past medical procedures like organ transplants, dialysis, and transfusions may have caused this virus to enter the bloodstream. Healthcare workers who got stuck by a needle or mucosal exposure could also get the virus.
Hepatitis C May Create Other Health Issues
While hepatitis B damages the liver, hepatitis C has been found to create other diseases like diabetes, kidney inflammation, painful skin lesions, and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Adults Aged 18 to 59 Should Get Vaccinated
Recommendations have changed and adults up to the age of 59 should get vaccinated. Any adult can get it if their doctor believes it’s a good idea.
Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E Are Spread Through Contaminated Food or Water
Hepatitis A is important to watch for as it’s spread by eating contaminated food or water. One of the most recent cases was due to organic strawberries that were contaminated with hepatitis A. Those strawberries were initially found in 2022 but frozen strawberries have also been recalled in 2023.
Hepatitis E is most commonly linked to eating infected boar, pork, venison, or shellfish. Cooking meats to the proper temperature is important in preventing hepatitis E.
Hepatitis B Patients Are at Risk for Hepatitis D
Hepatitis D only affects people who have already been diagnosed with hepatitis B. It can also occur at the same time hepatitis B enters the bloodstream and creates the infection. The hep B vaccination is the best way to avoid this coinfection or superinfection.
Any form of hepatitis is going to require medical care. Having 24-hour home care can benefit your senior loved one to alleviate your worry and ensuring round the clock care. If the liver is affected, your mom’s diet needs to be very careful when it comes to alcoholic beverages. Your mom is going to need to see her doctor regularly, and that might mean arranging to have someone drive her if she’s especially tired.
A severely damaged liver may need to be removed. Liver transplants are possible, and your mom will need a lot of support from senior home care aides after that. She’ll need someone to clean her home, cook her meals, and do the laundry until she’s strong enough.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring 24-Hour Home Care in Mesa, AZ, or anywhere in the East Valley, please contact the caring staff at Legacy Home Care.
Call (480) 777-0070
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