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Are You a Baby Boomer?
If you were born between 1945 and 1965, getting screened for hepatitis C should now be on your health care to-do list.
Hepatitis C is a serious liver infection spread by infected blood or body fluids. In June 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 should be offered hepatitis C viral screening on a one-time basis. This recommendation echoes a hepatitis C viral screening recommendation published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in August 2012.
Why Baby Boomers?
- That age group was exposed to a blood bank system not screened for the hepatitis C virus.
- Hepatitis C screening is now recommended for everyone in that age group.
- Benefits of screening are the potential for treatment, a cure, and the prevention of spreading hep C.
These recommendations for screening hold even if you have no signs or symptoms, no liver disease, or no abnormal liver tests for hepatitis C. Over 3 million people in the U.S. have been infected with hep C and many don’t know it because they have not yet had any symptoms. But over time, hep C can lead to serious health risks including liver disease, liver failure, and liver cancer.