CDC suggests that all Baby Boomers be tested for Hepatitis C

Stethoscope - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that all baby boomers in the country be tested once for the hepatitis C virus. The CDC estimates that 1-in-30 baby boomers are infected with hepatitis C and may not even be aware that they are infected. Baby boomers are people who were born between 1945 and 1965.

The CDC said that hepatitis C can cause the liver to become seriously diseased and in some cases, it could lead to liver cancer. The fastest growing rate for cancer related death is liver cancer. In the US, hepatitis C is also a leading cause for liver transplants.

The CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. said that a one-time-only test for hepatitis C should be on all baby boomer’s to-do list.

Previously, the CDC only recommended hepatitis C testing when there were certain known risk factors for contracting the infection. Baby boomers could have been infected decades ago and may not think that they could be at risk for liver problems caused from hepatitis C.

Over 2 million baby boomers in the US are believed to be infected. Hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer have topped 15,000 a year with many of those cases developing in baby boomers.

With the new recommendations, the CDC thinks that over 800,000 baby boomers will be newly diagnosed with the hepatitis C infection. The good news is that there are new therapies that can cure up to 75 percent of the infections. The proactive approach could help prevent serious liver disease and the CDC estimates it might save over 120,000 lives.

The CDC made their official recommendation in today’s issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

ref: CDC

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