Sunday, May 16, 2010

San Mateo Kicks Off "Hep B Free" Awareness Week - Get Tested!

The City of San Mateo kicks off “Hepatitis B Awareness Week” today with a ribbon tying ceremony at 88 East 4th Avenue in Downtown San Mateo at 3:30 PM, followed by a proclamation from Mayor John Lee at the City Council meeting at 7:00 PM.

Organized by the Jade Ribbon Youth Council, a group of high school volunteers from San Mateo, the ribbon tying ceremony in Downtown San Mateo will tie green ribbons along 4th Avenue from El Camino Real to San Mateo Avenue to raise awareness among the public about the “silent killer” known as Hepatitis B. San Mateo City Councilmember David Lim will be on hand at 3:30 PM to tie the first ribbon at the corner of East 4th Avenue and San Mateo Avenue.

Following the ribbon tying event, representatives of the Jade Ribbon Youth Council will lead the Pledge of Allegiance to open the City Council meeting at 7:00 PM at City Hall, and will then receive a proclamation from Mayor John Lee declaring this week to be “Hepatitis B Awareness Week”. Over the next month, free screenings for “Hep B” will be held at various locations throughout the Peninsula.

Hepatitis B is a virus which affects people of Asian descent at a higher rate than any other group. Hep B attacks the liver and can cause one in four people to die of liver cancer if not properly monitored. Each year, over one million people die worldwide of complications from Hepatitis B despite the existence of a vaccine that will inoculate people from the virus.

Councilmember David Lim stated, “The real tragedy of Hep B is that there is a vaccine which will prevent infection, but due to a lack of public awareness about Hep B, especially among low-income and immigrant Asians, many people become needlessly infected and die each year from this virus.” Lim added, “Today’s ribbon tying ceremony and recognition by the San Mateo City Council will help raise awareness among our neighbors of the need to be screened and vaccinated against Hep B, especially in the 20% of our population who are Asian-American and thus are most susceptible to infection.”

Lim noted that he was screened for Hep B recently to show people how easy the process is, and also was vaccinated against the virus when he was younger. “I urge everyone to get screened,” said Lim.

Let's make San Mateo Hep B Free!

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