The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released expanded Hepatitis C screening recommendations calling for all Americans born from 1945 through 1965 to get a one-time blood test for Hepatitis C.
Aimed at identifying more hidden infections among those most affected by the disease and reducing the rising toll of Hepatitis C-related illness and death in the United States, the new recommendations expand CDC’s existing risk-based recommendations. The main reason is many people with Hepatitis C don't know it. They have no symptoms and live with an infection for decades without feeling ill. If caught early it can be successfully treated with medications.
Here are some quick facts from the CDC:
More than 75% of adults with Hepatitis C are baby boomers
Baby boomers are five times more likely to be infected
The CDC estimates that one-time testing of baby boomers could identify more than 800,000 people with hepatitis C who are not aware that they have it, allowing them to be treated to prevent chronic liver cancer and diseases. Early diagnosis could save upwards of 120,000 lives.
The CDC has published a fact sheet "Hepatitis C: Expansion of Testing Recommendations, 2012" outlining all of the expanded recommendations and rationale. They have various other Hepatitis C fact sheets available as well. They have also produced an infographic as well as posters, buttons, badges, and templates to be shared with co-workers, friends, family, peers, and posted in public places.
For more information and resources, visit the Know More Hepatitis campaign on the CDC website.