The Baby Boomer Generation is Five Times More Likely To Be Infected With Hepatitis C Than Other American Adults.
Health officials are encouraging US members of the baby boomer generation to get a one-time blood test for a liver-destroying virus. Hepatitis C was believed to be on the rise in the 1970s and 1980s when this group was at the young adult age. The baby boomer generation consists of those born between 1946 and 1964.
Only a quarter of the baby boomer generation has been tested for this virus and the US Centers for Disease Control believe testing will reveal 800,000 more cases within this age group. Right now of 3.2 million people being treated, 2 million of them are from the baby boom generation.
If untested and untreated many people will die from the blood borne virus that infects 17,000 people each year. People can have the condition for years without even knowing, while decades later they will find their liver severely damaged. Cases of cirrhosis and liver cancer could be prevented.
Dr. John Ward, Centers for Disease control hepatitis chief said “The CDC views hepatitis C as an unrecognised health crisis for the country and we believe the time is now for a bold response.” They believe if the baby boomer generation gets tested, 120,000 lives could be saved.
Public health authorities believe exposure to this group was most likely caused by the sharing of needles to inject drugs and through blood transfusions. Better screening for blood donations did not occur until 1992.
In 2007, 15,000 deaths were a result of hepatitis C and officials found that under 15 percent of people who were exposed to the disease but do not have it, have the antibodies to fight the virus.
Two in every three cases of hepatitis C are from members of the baby boomer generation. So, if you fit into this category, perhaps a blood test should be placed on your to do list.