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Hep C testing in Kissimmee is closer and more accessible than you might think. Harmony Healthcare Orlando now has two office locations, providing inclusive care to everyone in our community.
A recent Central Florida Community Collaborative health needs assessment identified hep C as one of the top three community health issues in Osceola County, particularly because of the increase in the number of cases. Are you looking for hep C testing in Kissimmee? The team of medical professionals at Harmony Healthcare Orlando is here for you. In this blog, we will answer some of your questions related to hepatitis C testing, and share more about the services that we offer.
What Is Hep C?
Hep C, or hepatitis C, is a liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). This virus can cause acute and chronic hepatitis, meaning it can be a minor illness that lasts just several weeks, or a more serious, lifelong health complication. Hepatitis C is a bloodborne illness, meaning that it is spread through contact with the blood of a person who is positive for hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is also a common cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
How Can I Be Exposed To Hepatitis C?
Most exposures to hepatitis C occur when someone comes in contact with a small amount of blood, typically through sharing needles or other equipment that is used to prepare or inject drugs, or through certain sexual activities, like anal sex.
Hepatitis C can also be passed from an infected mother to a baby during pregnancy. However, it is not spread through breast milk, food, water, or other contact with an infected person such as hugging, kissing, or sharing food and drinks with someone who is infected.
Why Is Hep C Testing In Kissimmee Important?
After being infected with hepatitis C, there is an incubation period that can range from just 2 weeks to as long as 6 months. Additionally, more than 80% of people infected do not show any symptoms, making early hep C testing critical to diagnosing the virus. Someone who is infected with hepatitis C can also spread the virus even if they are not exhibiting symptoms.
In 2016, Florida reported almost 30,000 cases of hep C. Among the chronic cases, 47% of those infected were under the age of 50, and 19% were young people under the age of 30. In recent acute cases, the number of infected young people has expanded up to 37%.
According to a recent CDC report, in 2019 the number of hep C cases in Florida had increased to 2.9 cases per 100,000 people, which is a 14% increase in the last 3 years alone. This makes hep C testing in your local community vitally important.
Who Should Be Tested For Hepatitis C?
Harmony Healthcare Orlando strives to make quality healthcare available to everyone. Hep C testing in Kissimmee is especially recommended for individuals that meet the following criteria:
- You are at least 18 years of age or older and have never been tested (It’s recommended by the CDC that everyone is tested at least once in their lifetime)
- You are pregnant
- You engage in sexual activity with someone who is hep C positive
- You use injection drugs currently or have in the past
- You have HIV
- You have abnormal liver test results or liver disease
- You are on hemodialysis
- You received donated organs or blood before July 1992
- You received clotting factor concentrates before 1987
- You were born to a mother with hepatitis C
- You have been exposed to the blood of someone who has hepatitis C
Harmony Healthcare Orlando Is Your Partner For Better Health
If you live in the Kissimmee area and are unsure about your status, you may be hesitant to pursue hep C testing. Our goal at Harmony Healthcare Orlando is to provide you with the care that you need in a comfortable environment. Our services are available to you at no cost. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for hepatitis C testing or treatment.