world hep day 2021
There are 3 major Hepatitis viruses that affect and may damage the liver. Hepatitis A, B, and C.


Hepatitis A is a Vaccine Preventable acute liver disease contracted by direct person to person contact or secondarily through contaminated food or drinks handled by an infected person. This is called a "fecal-oral" route of transmission. With this type of transmission, the virus is more easily spread in areas where there are poor sanitary conditions or where good personal hygiene is not followed.

Most HAV infections in the United States result from contact with a household member or sex partner who has been infected with Hepatitis A. However, HAV may also be spread by consuming food or drink that has been handled by an infected person. Water-borne outbreaks are infrequent and are usually associated with exposure to water that is sewage-contaminated or inadequately treated. HAV is generally not spread by casual contact with an infected person, such as an office, factory or school setting.

The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination with the Hepatitis A vaccine. Vaccination is recommended for all children aged one and up, for travelers' countries where Hepatitis A is common, and for people at high risk for infection with the virus, such as:
  • Sharing of injection needles
  • Men who have sexual contact with other men. 
  • Sharing of glucometers and fingerstick devices
  • People with chronic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.
  • People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates.
  • People who work with Hepatitis A-infected animals or in Hepatitis A research laboratories.
  • People who live with someone who has Hepatitis A; or
  • People who have oral-anal sexual contact with someone who has Hepatitis A.

The second most important way to prevent person-to-person spread is careful hand washing after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.

Hepatitis A is typically self-limiting and does not have treatment. Medications and hospitalization may be required for symptom management related to Hepatitis A. Call TODAY to set up an appointment for Hepatitis Education, Screening, or Vaccination! Our Communicable Disease Nurses may also assist you in finding resources to prevent contracting Hepatitis A! Call 828-764-9150 and ask for your local Communicable Disease Nurse! 


CDC Hepatitis A Fact Sheet

CDC Traveler's Guide 

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Infection with Hepatitis B can be life-long and cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. There are immunizations to prevent contracting Hepatitis B.

The Hepatitis B virus can be found in the blood, as well as in the saliva, semen and other body fluids of an infected person. It is spread by direct contact with infected body fluids, usually by sexual contact or a needle-stick injury. It can also be spread from an HBV-infected mother to her baby during childbirth. Hepatitis B is not spread by casual contact.

The virus can be found in blood and other body fluids several weeks before symptoms appear and generally persists for several months afterward. About 10 percent of adults who are infected with Hepatitis B develop chronic Hepatitis B and are then always capable of transmitting the virus to others. Infants infected at birth have a 90 percent chance of becoming chronically infected and capable of transmitting the virus. 


Adults are more likely than children to develop symptoms. However, up to 50 percent of adults who have acute infection do not have any symptoms. Symptoms may appear between 6 weeks and 6 months after exposure.

Call TODAY to set up an appointment for Hepatitis Education, Screening, or Vaccination! Our Communicable Disease Nurses may also assist you in finding Hepatitis B Treatment Providers! Call 828-764-9150 and ask to speak with your local Communicable Disease Nurse! 


CDC Hepatitis B General Fact Sheet

CDC Living With Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B Explained By The National Institute of Health

Hepatitis B Treatment Explained By The Hepatitis B Foundation  

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is spread when blood of an infected person enters the body of a person who is not infected. There is no evidence that the Hepatitis C virus can be transmitted by casual contact such as hugging or shaking hands, through foods or water, by sharing utensils or drinking glasses, or by coughing, sneezing or kissing.

In those persons who do develop symptoms, the average time period from exposure to symptom onset is 2 weeks to 24 weeks (0 month to 6 months). The acute form of the infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first six months after someone is exposed to the virus. Many acute infections lead to lifelong (chronic) HCV infections, which if unrecognized and untreated can result in severe liver disease, liver damage, liver cancer and even death.

There is no vaccine to prevent the contraction of Hepatitis C, but there are treatment options after the virus is recognized! The decision to undergo treatment for HCV is a decision best made by the patient and his or her doctor after a series of diagnostic tests is conducted.

Call your Communicable Disease Nurse TODAY to set up an appointment for Hepatitis C Education, Screening, or referral to Hepatitis C Treatment Providers in your area at 828-764-9150!


CDC Hepatitis C Fact Sheet

Hepatitis C Basics for Persons Who Use Drugs 

hep and pregnancy

Hepatitis During Pregnancy

Routine testing is provided by your OBGYN during pregnancy to screen for Hepatitis. Here are some common questions regarding Hepatitis and Pregnancy. Please talk to your OBGYN regarding any history of Hepatitis, Substance Use, STDs, or other pertinent health history!

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology answers two common questions regarding Hepatitis and pregnancy: 

If I am infected with the hepatitis B virus, what can be done to prevent my baby from becoming infected? 

Within a few hours of birth, your baby will receive the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine. A shot of HBIG is given as well. Two more doses of the vaccine are given over the next 6 months.

After the vaccine series is complete, your baby will be tested for hepatitis B virus infection. A test also is done to measure the level of antibodies that have been made as a result of the vaccine. A second vaccine series may be given if test results show that the baby is not infected with the hepatitis B virus but has not made enough antibodies to the virus.

Antiviral therapy during pregnancy may also be an option to help prevent the transmission of Perinatal Hepatitis B. Talk to your doctor TODAY to see if you may benefit from Antiviral Therapy.  

What if I test positive for the hepatitis C virus during pregnancy? 

Currently, there are no hepatitis C treatments approved for use during pregnancy. And there are no preventive measures available that can reduce the risk of passing the virus on to the baby. But if you have the virus, you will need special care during pregnancy to make sure you stay healthy.

If you are infected with the hepatitis C virus, your baby will be tested, usually when your baby is at least 18 months old. About 4 in 100 women who are infected with the hepatitis C virus will pass it to their babies. The risk is related to how much of the virus a woman has and whether she also is infected with HIV. Babies who do become infected with the hepatitis C virus will need ongoing medical care.

You also will need long-term health care. You can start treatment with an antiviral drug after pregnancy. If you breastfeed your baby, treatment should start after finishing breastfeeding. Call your local Communicable Disease Nurse TODAY to schedule Hepatitis C monitoring and post-delivery treatment at 828-764-9150! 


CDC Hepatitis B and Pregnancy Fact Sheet

Vaccinate Your Baby Against Hepatitis B

ACOG Women's Health - Hepatitis B and C During Pregnancy 

Preventing Hepatitis

hep prevention

Hepatitis is easily prevented through education, good hygiene, precautions including safe sex and using needles one time, and preventative vaccinations!

If you feel you have been exposed or are at risk for contracting Hepatitis, call our Communicable Disease Team TODAY to discuss your story with us! We may be able to assist you or help direct you to the best professional to assist you in your journey with Hepatitis.


Vaccinations are available to the public with and without insurance through Burke County Health Department. Risk factors may be assessed prior to vaccination to determine eligibility for a Free vaccine.

Call TODAY to set up an appointment to start your Hepatitis Vaccine series! 828-764-9150

Hepatitis A Vaccination Information Sheet

Hepatitis B Vaccination Information Sheet


Viral Hepatitis in North Carolina: Comprehensive Response Recommendations 2022

NCDHHS Hepatitis B Algorithm

Carolina Hepatitis C Academic Mentorship Program

NASTAD Hepatitis C Community Navigation Toolkit

NASTAD Hepatitis C Community Navigation Toolkit: Improving Care for People Who Use Drugs and Other Impacted Populations

HCV - Science Over Stigma

Hepatitis C Made Simple Know Your Status