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Uinta County Courthouse
225 9th St.
Evanston, WY 82930-3415
Ph: (307) 783-0301
Bridger Valley:
(307) 782-7432
Hepatitis C Information
Hepatitis C: The Silent Epidemic
This virus can lie dormant in the body for years before destroying the liver. Here’ what you need to know. Not identified until 1989, hepatitis C is now the most common chronic blood borne disease and leading cause for liver transplantation in the United States.

At present, no vaccine is available for hepatitis C (vaccines have been developed for hepatitis A and B). Routine testing for hepatitis C is indicated for persons with unexplained elevated liver enzymes (liver tests) or any of the following risk factors: 
  • History of Intravenous (IV) Drug Use
    Shared contaminated drug injection or snorting equipment is the most common route of transmission for hepatitis C today. 
  • Blood Transfusion or Solid Organ Transplant
    If the patient received blood or an organ transplant before 1992 or from an infected donor or transfusion of clotting factor concentrates before 1985. This method of virus transmission has become rare since the advent of routine blood screening in 1992 and virus inactivation procedures for clotting factors (which are used to treat hemophilia) in 1985. 
  • Occupational Exposure to Blood Via Needle-Stick Injury
    An estimated 2,000 health care workers annually are infected with hepatitis C from a needle-stick or sharps injury. 
  • Perinatal Exposure (Pregnant Women)
    Children born to hepatitis C-positive mothers have a 5% to 6% chance of acquiring the virus through the shared maternal-fetal blood supply. 
  • Sexual Contact with Infected Person
    The risk or transmission via this route appears to be low, except under certain conditions. Multiple partners without protection increases the risk of transmission. 
  • Equipment-Related Transmission
    Poor cleaning and decontamination of equipment that penetrates the skin can transmit the infection. This includes equipment used in tattooing, body piercing and nail manicuring.

Signs and symptoms
In many people, the infection has no symptoms, but others have flu like symptoms (fatigue, joint and muscular pain, nausea and vomiting) 6 to 8 weeks after the initial infection. About 10% of people develop jaundice (have yellow skin and eyes). 

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Living with hepatitis C
Hepatitis C can’t be transmitted by casual contact. The following measures will help to prevent transmission and help to preserve health: 
  • Do not share razors, nail-grooming items, toothbrushes, or other items that could be contaminated with blood 
  • Cover any open wounds and sores 
  • Wash hands thoroughly 
  • Stop high-risk behaviors, such as having unprotected sex and drinking alcohol. In someone with hepatitis C, drinking alcohol dramatically increases the risk of liver cancer. 
  • Do not take any medication, including over-the-counter and herbal preparation, without consulting a health care provider. 
  • Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. 
  • Find out about support groups. 
  • Visit a health care provider every 6 to 12 months for assessment.

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Testing
Uinta County Public Health is providing testing for persons at risk for hepatitis C, along with HIV testing and counseling for free.

Make an appointment by calling Evanston at (307) 789-9203 or Lyman at (307) 787-3800. 

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