Hepatitis often shows no symptoms

4 ways hepatitis B and C can be spread

About 5 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have hepatitis B or hepatitis C. However, 90% of people with hepatitis B and 80% of people with hepatitis C don’t know they have it. This creates the possibility for millions of people to spread the infection to others without knowing, or develop fatal liver cancer.

Here are four ways that hepatitis B and hepatitis C are commonly spread:

  1. Receiving blood transfusions
  2. During childbirth from mother to infant
  3. Sharing razors or toothbrushes
  4. Tattooing or body piercing done without adequately sterilized equipment

The hepatitis B virus can also be spread through having unprotected sex with an infected person.

If you think you could be at risk for either hepatitis B or C, it is important to get tested. If you are unsure of your status, please talk to your primary care physician. You can also take this quick hepatitis risk assessment developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The best way to prevent hepatitis B is to get vaccinated. Visit the CDC or World Hepatitis Alliance for the latest information on global efforts to eliminate hepatitis.


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