Philadelphia City Branding Image

Text Size:

Health Bulletin Spring 2014
May is National Hepatitis Awareness Month
Hepatitis and Your Liver

Your liver is important! It has hundreds of jobs. It removes toxins from your blood. It gets nutrients to your body. Hepatitis can damage your liver (cirrhosis) and cause liver cancer. Hepatitis B and C are examples of viral hepatitis. Symptoms can include jaundice (yellow skin or eyes) or extreme tiredness. These symptoms may come and go. Read the lists below. If you are at risk, talk with your doctor about getting tested!

How can I get Hepatitis B?

  • From blood, semen, or vaginal fluid of someone infected with the virus.

I should be tested for Hepatitis B if...
  • I was born in a country where the virus is common (especially if it is in Asia or Africa), OR
  • My parents were born in one of those countries, OR
  • I am a pregnant woman, OR
  • I live with someone with hepatitis B, OR
  • I have had sex with someone with the virus, OR
  • I am an injection drug user, OR
  • I am a man who has sex with men, OR
  • I am living with HIV.

Is there a vaccine? YES!
A series of 3 shots prevents infection.

Is there treatment? YES! Treatment can control but does NOT cure the infection.

More Information

How can I get Hepatitis C?

  • From blood of someone infected with the virus.

I should be tested for Hepatitis C if...
  • I was born between 1945-1965, OR
  • I have ever injected drugs (even once), OR
  • I have had sex with someone with the virus, OR
  • I have been tattooed in jail, at a party, or at some other unlicensed setting, OR
  • I am a man who has sex with other men, OR
  • I am living with HIV.

Is there a vaccine? NO.

Is there treatment? YES! Hepatitis C can be CURED. New medicines work better and have fewer side effects.

More Information

What is asthma?

Asthma is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. Asthma triggers may include smoke, dust and mold.

  • Did you know that a disaster could severely affect a person with asthma?
  • Do you know how to protect your health during a disaster?

How can a disaster affect my health if I have asthma? A disaster or emergency can stir up asthma triggers into the air that can make it hard for you to breathe.

What can I do during a disaster to protect my health? These tips can help prevent some asthma symptoms during an emergency:

  • Know your asthma triggers (smoke, dust, pets, mold)
  • Avoid areas, outdoors or indoors, where there are a lot of asthma triggers.
  • Wear a dust mask, or use a t-shirt or handkerchief to cover your mouth and nose.
  • Keep taking your medications.
  • If you stop taking your medications, it can cause swelling in your airway, leading to coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and asthma attacks.
  • Do not use your rescue inhaler too often because it can lose its strength.

Are there tips I should remember if I have asthma? Along with the emergency kit and emergency plan remember to include all medications that help treat your asthma, such as:

  • Nebulizer
  • Cough drops
  • Rescue medications
  • Controller medications
Springtime Fun and Safety

Spring is a great time to exercise and let your children and pets play outside. Help your kids stay healthy and safe during these months.

Some good advice for adults and kids:
  • Always wear a helmet when you ride your bicycle to prevent head injury.
  • Do not play with dogs you do not know (they can bite!).
  • Tell someone right away if you are bitten by a dog.
  • CALL the Health Department at (215) 685-6748 if you or someone else has been bitten by a dog or other animal. They can tell you what you should do.
Do you have expired, unwanted, or unused medications? How should you dispose of them?

Medicines treat many diseases, but when they are no longer needed it's important to dispose of them the right way to avoid harm to others and protect the environment.

Learn how to dispose of unused medications safely.