Baby Boomer? Feds Say Get Tested for Hepatitis C

Disease can lurk in the body for decades
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2012 11:33 AM CDT
The CDC thinks everyone born from 1945 to 1965 should get tested for hepatitis C.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An epidemic of hepatitis C is afflicting the baby boomer generation, and federal authorities will roll out a campaign this year urging everyone born between 1945 and 1965 to get tested, reports the Los Angeles Times. Roughly 75% of the estimated 3.2 million people infected are boomers, many of whom picked it up decades earlier using drugs in the pre-AIDS era. What's more, the disease can remain in the body undetected for years before taking a toll on the liver.

"We have sort of a perfect storm of an age wave of people who are moving through time who are progressively becoming sicker from an infection that was acquired several decades ago," says a CDC official. Hepatitis C is the primary infectious cause of liver cirrhosis and the No. 1 reason for liver transplants, but new drugs that suppress the virus are becoming available.

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