If you are between the ages of 47 and 67 you should get tested for the Hepatitis C infection, according to a new recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Reuters reported Aug. 16 that the CDC estimates that more than 2 million “Baby Boomers” may be carrying the Hepatitis C virus without knowing it, due to infection decades ago before blood and organ donations were routinely screened for the disease or from sharing intravenous needles.
“Hepatitis C is particularly dangerous because it is a silent killer,” says John Ward, M.D., director of the CDC’s division of viral hepatitis. ”It can live for decades in a person’s body, slowly destroying the liver, while causing few symptoms.” The disease kills an estimated 15,000 Americans annually.
Hepatitis C can be detected through a simple blood test, and new treatments can cure up to 75 percent of infections.