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Attention Medicaid Participants: Eligibility Renewals Restarted April 1, 2023
Date: May 4, 2022
Dover (May 4, 2022) - The Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing May as Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19 as Hepatitis Testing Day. There are several different viruses that can cause hepatitis. The most common type of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Both hepatitis A and hepatitis B are preventable with vaccines and while there is no vaccine for hepatitis C, it is curable with proper treatment. Hepatitis B and C are the leading causes of liver cancer in the United States. The only way to know if you have a viral hepatitis is to get tested.
It is estimated that 2.4 million people in the United States are living with hepatitis C and between 880,000 and 1.89 million people are living with hepatitis B. Many are unaware that they are infected since symptoms usually are slow to present themselves. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests everyone should get tested for viral hepatitis at least once in their lives. Some of the risk factors for contracting viral hepatitis include but are not limited to:
"The Viral Hepatitis Program has been hard at work to build up the program's outreach, prevention, and surveillance measures over the past year," said DPH Treatment Program Administrator for the Viral Hepatitis and Vaccine Preventable Disease Programs Victoria Pyne, MA. "Viral hepatitis is preventable and DPH's viral hepatitis team is making efforts to raise awareness of the issue and encourage people to get tested at least once, as well as getting vaccinated for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Without testing, undiagnosed and untreated cases can lead to significant health complications. During Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month, we encourage people to get tested, learn the risks, and help the prevent of the spread of viral hepatitis."
For greater detail on the risk factors and disease information on each form of viral hepatitis, you can visit the CDC website:
For more information, or to report a viral hepatitis case, call DPH's Viral Hepatitis program at 302-744-4990.
Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e. TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.
DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.