May 19, 2012- The Centers for Disease Control said on Friday that one in every 30 baby boomers might already be infected with Hepatitis C. However, most do not even know they have the virus until it is too late to save their liver.
New statistics show that over 2 million baby boomers in the country have hepatitis C virus. Because of those new statistics, the CDC is proposing an update to guidelines. The agency is calling for all baby boomers to receive a test for the virus.
Baby boomers, born between 1945 and 1965, represent 75% of all Americans infected by hepatitis C. However, studies show very few of them are aware they carry the infection or are at risk of the infection.
Being able to identify the hidden infections at an early stage will allow high numbers of this age group to receive the treatment and care needed before the a liver disease occurs that could be life-threatening. Hepatitis C guidelines currently call for just people who have certain sets of risk factors to test for the virus.
Hepatitis C virus can be spread through contact with infected blood. The sharing of needles plus other apparatuses to inject drugs is how the majority of people are being infected today with the virus. Researchers say the majority of baby boomers who are infected were most likely infected when they were teenagers or in their early 20.
May 19 is the first National Hepatitis Testing Day across the U.S.