PIKEVILLE – Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) will host a community health fair in recognition of World Hepatitis Day on Thursday, July 28 from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mark II, located at the Landmark Hotel Complex (190 South Mayo Trail, Pikeville).
Hepatitis C infection is the most common blood-borne infection in the United States, affecting approximately three million people according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Hepatitis is a world-wide problem,” said Dr. Fadi Al Akhrass, medical director of infection control at PMC, “but it is also a community problem.”
An increase in the abuse of injection drugs has caused hepatitis C infection rates to more than triple in the Appalachian region. A recent report from the CDC ranks counties in eastern Kentucky among the highest in the nation at risk of a hepatitis and HIV epidemic. In the last six years, the rate of infected people has risen over 300 percent, with most cases in adults under the age of 30.
“Bringing awareness and attention to hepatitis in our region is the only way to head off any possible epidemic we may be faced with,” Dr. Al Akhrass stated.
PMC will offer free screenings for hepatitis and HIV at the community health fair as well as free blood pressure, vision, peripheral vascular disease, body mass index, foot, hearing, glucose and cholesterol screenings. Four-hour fasting is required for cholesterol screenings.
The World Hepatitis Alliance has been working for the past 10 years to raise awareness about hepatitis, with the goal of eliminating the deadly virus as a public health threat by the year 2030. Organizations all around the globe will unite with PMC on World Hepatitis Day in a common cause.