Thousands of Baby Boomers May Have Hepatitis C
John L. Keefe
Are you a baby boomer? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 800,000 baby boomers are unknowingly infected with hepatitis C. The CDC is recommending that everyone born between 1945 and 1965 get a blood test for hepatitis C. Why is this group especially at risk?
The CDC isn’t exactly sure. They do know that adults born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely to be infected with the disease. In fact, 75 percent of those with identified cases of hepatitis C are baby boomers.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease that is caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Many people with the disease have no symptoms. They do not know they have the disease and can live for decades without feeling sick. However, the disease can also cause serious health problems. These include liver damage, liver cancer, cirrhosis, liver failure, and death. Hepatitis C is a leading reason for liver transplants.
As baby boomers age, the numbers of people who will develop serious health problems and die from hepatitis C is expected to rise. But testing can prevent deaths from Hepatitis C. New medications can reduce the levels of the virus in the blood when the virus is found before there are serious symptoms. The CDC believes that more than 120,000 deaths can be prevented if everyone born between 1945 and 1965 gets tested for HCV.
National Hepatitis Testing Day is May 19!
The CDC has designated May 19 as National Hepatitis Testing Day. If you are worried about your risk of Hepatitis, our Boston disability lawyers urge you to get tested. To find a hepatitis testing event near you, click here.
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