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Idaho State University

Dec. 6 community health screening to offer free hepatitis C screening and flu shots

November, 19, 2012

The free screening for uninsured adults is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Idaho State University-Meridian Health Science Center, 1311 E. Central Drive, on the north side of Interstate 84 between Locust Grove and Meridian roads. In addition to hepatitis C and flu shots,

services will include:

  • Basic physical exams, blood pressure checks, foot exams and medication reviews
  • Dental evaluations
  • Hearing, depression and alcohol screenings and questionnaires
  • On-site testing for blood sugar levels and HIV status 
  • Mammogram referrals
  • Nutrition assessment and recommendations
  • Health education

The Centers for Disease Control recommends people born between 1954 and 1965 get screened for hepatitis C, a blood-borne infection that increases a person’s chance of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer.  There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

“It (hepatitis C) can take up to 30 years to seriously affect the liver,” said Judy Thorne, ISU-Meridian’s viral hepatitis and HIV educator.  “If an individual knows that they have chronic hep C, they can take proactive steps toward better health.” 

Screenings are conducted by collecting a small drop of blood from a finger.  Results are 98 to 99 percent accurate, according to Thorne.

The Dec. 6 community health screening is the 17th conducted by ISU-Meridian, Ada County, Central District Health, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare since March 2010. More than 460 adults have participated with many being referred to low-cost clinics and doctors for further treatment.
“These screenings promote prevention and personal responsibility by helping to identify and address health care problems before they end up requiring costly ER visits,” said Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman.

The full screening process takes about an hour.  No appointment is necessary. Valley Ride bus stops are nearby. For more information, call 373-1700.