Attention fellow baby boomers!
Hepatitis C is a stealth killer. This virus can live in your body for decades, and you may not know you have it, meanwhile; it slowly does irreversible damage to your body, especially your liver.
Hepatitis C is the primary cause for liver transplants, and a leading cause of liver cancer. It kills more than fifteen thousand people each year, most of whom are baby boomers.
Research shows 1 in 30 baby boomers are already infected -- and more than half of them don’t know it.
There is no vaccine. But there are treatments, and those treatments have gotten more effective.
The main challenge now is finding out if you need treatment.
Screening used to be recommended only for those with lifestyle risk factors: IV drug users, dialysis patients, and anyone who had a blood transfusion before 1992. That’s the year we started screening the blood supply for Hepatitis C.
In fact, when you donate blood to the Red Cross, they automatically screen for Hepatitis C, among other things. If you test positive, they won’t take your blood. They ‘ll tell you to see your doctor for confirmatory testing.
The CDC wants every boomer to be checked; if your birthday’s between 1945 and 1965, that means you.