By CELESTE BOTT
Capital News Service
LANSING – The state will use a new $1.6 million federal grant to better determine barriers to hepatitis screening, testing and treatment. The grant was awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. James K. Haveman, director of the Department of Community Health, said that it was the first time the state received federal funding for the surveillance of this prevalent disease. “Hepatitis affects millions of Americans, and opportunities such as this are critical to detecting and treating those cases,” Haveman said. Hepatitis, a disease that causes inflammation of the liver and eventual liver cirrhosis, requires extensive statewide awareness because according to the department, up to 75 percent of infected people aren’t aware they have it.