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One Time Hepatitis C Test Recommended for Baby Boomers

According to US health officials all members of the baby boomer generation should take a one time test to see if they are infected with the hepatitis C virus. The CDC has found that baby boomers are 5 times more likely to have the liver damaging virus and they fear that many are unaware that they are carrying it. CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said, in speaking with reporters, “Unless we take action, we project deaths will increase substantially.” Of the estimated 3.2 million Americans infected nearly two thirds are baby boomers. The symptoms can take decades to emerge making it hard for people to seek early treatment and without treatment the virus can lead to liver scarring, cirrhosis and even liver cancer. Hepatitis is transmitted through blood contact such as sharing needles and up until the early 90’s blood transfusions. Officials decided to make the recommendation after seeing the number of cases double between 1999 and 2007.

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