FLUSHING, NY --- In a confidential setting, on the fourth floor of the Queens Crossing Mall in Flushing, Tai-Ping Lee, MD, a liver specialist in the North Shore-LIJ Center for Liver Diseases, is screening and treating Flushing area patients showing signs and symptoms of hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which, if left untreated, can lead to death.
“There needs to be much more public education and awareness of this dangerous health problem, especially in the diverse Asian community in Flushing,” said Dr. Lee, noting that May is National Hepatitis Month and World Hepatitis Day is July 28. “Most infants and children with hepatitis B never develop signs and symptoms. The same is true for some adults. The time to seek medical care is when the diagnosis is made, whether there are symptoms or not.”
Dr. Lee said medical treatment for hepatitis B generally consists of one pill each day. The drug has minimal adverse effects and can prevent the development of complications of the disease, including preventing the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer, which commonly occurs in the absence of treatment, he said. Once diagnosed, hepatitis B can be effectively treated and long-term complications can be prevented.
Signs and symptoms of hepatitis B usually appear about three months after an individual has been infected and can range from mild to severe. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis B may include: abdominal pain, dark urine, fever, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, weakness and fatigue, and yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice).
Flushing has a diverse population and is home to many people from China, Vietnam, Taiwan, India, Pakistan and other Southeast Asian countries. The prevalence of hepatitis B in these populations is estimated to be at least 10 percent, making it even more important that hepatitis B testing be performed in these populations. Dr. Lee and her colleagues of the North Shore-LIJ Medical Group in Flushing are dedicated to educating and treating patients with hepatitis A, B and C.
The North Shore-LIJ Medical Group in Flushing is a comprehensive medical center dedicated to serving the Flushing community with specialists in cardiology, internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, hepatology, human reproduction, general surgery, neurosurgery, surgical oncology, thoracic surgery, nephrology, urology, pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric endocrinology. It is located at on the fourth floor of the Queens Crossing Mall, located at 39th Avenue and Main Street. The address is 136-17 39th Avenue, Suite CF-E, in Flushing. To make an appointment, call 718-559-3600. The multilingual staff is ready to assist patients with their healthcare needs.