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Women's Health Channel
Reported January 5, 2012

Nail Salon Nightmare: Hepatitis B From Mani-Pedis -- Research Summary

'THE SILENT KILLER': An estimated 4.4million Americans are living with some form of chronic hepatitis. Most do not know they are infected. About 80,000 new infections occur each year. "Hepatitis" means inflammation of the liver and also refers to a group of viral infections that affect the liver. The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is often called "the silent killer" because many people have no symptoms, so the disease often progresses unnoticed for years. Several people first learn they have chronic HBV when they develop symptoms of severe liver damage. HBV has an incubation period from the time of exposure to onset of symptoms of 6 weeks to 6 months. Rates of infection are highest among adults, particularly males aged 25–44 years. (Source: CDC)

It is spread through contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected person. You cannot get hepatitis B from casual contact such as hugging, kissing, sneezing, coughing, or sharing food or drinks. In most cases, hepatitis B goes away on its own. You can relieve your symptoms at home by resting, eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding alcohol and drugs. (www.webmd.com)

ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDERS: In the United States, Asian and Pacific Islanders(APIs) make up less than 5% of the total population, but account for more than 50% of Americans living with chronic Hepatitis B. The rate of chronic hepatitis B infection among Vietnamese Americans is over 10%, compared to the general population rate of 1%. This is in large part due to the fact that the HBV vaccine has only recently become available to API countries. (www.cdc.gov)

DR. ROBERT GISH : Gish is recognized in Southeast Asia for establishing a roadmap to improve screening and treatment for, and prevention of liver disease and Hepatitis B in Vietnam. He is one of the founding members of the White Paper Team, a group of 30 physicians in the U.S. and Vietnam who have developed a bold five-year plan to improve screening and treatment for, and prevention of Hep B in Vietnam. The plan was recently announced in Vietnam and endorsed by the Vietnamese Minister for Health. Currently, he is co-directing the Center for Hepatobiliary Disease and Abdominal Transplantation (CHAT) at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

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