There is a vaccine for Hepatitis A and B and the DC Department of Health encourages District residents to get vaccinated. Consult your medical provider to get more information.
The Hepatitis A vaccine is considered to be effective for 15 to 20 years and immunization is recommended for:
- injecting drugs users
- restaurant workers
- residents of communities with high rates of hepatitis
- child-care workers
- people engaging in anal/oral sex
- people with chronic liver disease
- health care workers, and
- individuals travelling abroad to developing countries.
Adopting healthy and hygienic behavior such as washing of hands regularly are also ways to prevent Hepatitis A.
The Hepatitis B vaccine is also considered to be effective for over 15 years. Vaccination is recommended for:
- all newborns
- individuals up to 18 years of age
- all adults participating in risky behaviors for infection (injecting drug users, healthcare workers, etc).
Practicing safer sex, not sharing drug paraphernalia and handling blood spills correctly with latex gloves and a 10% solution of household bleach are also ways to prevent Hepatitis B transmission.
Unfortunately there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. Individuals infected with Hepatitis C should request both Hepatitis A and B vaccinations. Practicing safer sex, not sharing drug paraphernalia and handling blood spills correctly with latex gloves and a 10% solution of household bleach are also ways to prevent Hepatitis C transmission.