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Busted In Washington?

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Washington (LNS)- Washington medical authorities are urging people who were arrested in the mass May Day busts to take precautions against hepatitis. Several cases of infectious hepatitis were reported in the jails and detention camps.

Infectious hepatitis is most frequently spread through contact with fecal matter - so if your jail or camp had particularly unsanitary toilet facilities you should be especially careful. Other less usual ways of contracting hep include drinking (from a canteen), eating someone else's baloney sandwich or smoking a communal cigarette.

If you were busted you should try to get a gamma globulin shot. In many places they are not free and can run to as high as $25; the shot also does not always prevent catching hepatitis.

The incubation (and infectious) stage of hepatitis lasts around a month. So for the next month you should be careful to wash your hands after going to the bathroom. Also give your friend(s) a break and avoid oral/genital contact for a month. Symptoms of hep (which appear from two to six weeks after exposure) include light brown urine, pain in the lower abdomen, nausea, a fever, listlessness, and yellowness of skin and eyes. Good luck.