POSTED: Monday, May 18, 2009

Free screening offered for hepatitis

State health centers and other community sites statewide are offering free screenings tomorrow—on World Hepatitis Day—to encourage residents to find out whether they have hepatitis B or C.

Residents can call Aloha United Way 211 to find the nearest screening location.

“;Often called the silent epidemic, most people with hepatitis B or C don't have symptoms for many years,”; said Heather Lusk, Department of Health hepatitis coordinator.

People should not wait until they feel sick to be tested for hepatitis B or C because they can be treated and do other things to take care of themselves before they become ill, she said.

Hawaii has the highest rate of liver cancer in the nation, and hepatitis B and C are the most common known causes.

About 1 to 3 percent of Hawaii's people have hepatitis B, and about 23,000 have hepatitis C, according to department estimates.

More information is available at www.cdc.gov/hepatitis or by calling (888) 443-7232. To learn more about World Hepatitis Day, see www.aminumber12.org.


Neighbor Islands

Lihue, Kauai » Registration begins today for the Kauai Junior Lifeguard program for teenagers 13 to 17. Applications are available at Kauai Fire Department headquarters in Lihue and at all county lifeguard towers. Call 241-4984 or 241-4980.

Kahului, Maui » The Sustainable Living Institute of Maui and the Hawaii Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council are holding a workshop at Maui Community College on environmentally responsible building design. The “;Green Home Design and Construction: The LEED Implementation Process”; session will take place Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hilo, Hawaii » The ninth annual EMS 5K Family Run/2 Mile-Walk/Keiki Fun Run is set for 8:30 a.m. Sunday in Liliuokalani Park in Hilo. Proceeds benefit the Big Island Chapter of the American Cancer Society and a firefighter-paramedic battling cancer. Fee for adults is $20, $10 for kids. Call 981-8394.