The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging men and women born between 1945 and 1965 to get tested in May, which is designated Hepatitis C Awareness Month.
Hep C is a blood-borne virus that causes inflammation of the liver. It is curable when detected, but Hep C symptoms rarely surface before the virus turns into a chronic — even fatal liver disease.
Throughout the month of May, Any Lab Test Now, an area clinic, is offering a test to detect Hep C and you do not need to go to your doctor first. No appointment is needed, and the test is only $49.
Baby boomers are five times more likely to have Hep C than any other adults according to the CDC. Health officials say people in this age group could have picked up the virus years ago during a previous medical procedure or blood transfusion when health regulations to screen blood supplies were much more lax.
The CDC lists intravenous drug use or “sharing needles” as a common way to spread Hep C and a study shows a spike in Hep C infections linked to the opioid epidemic. Researchers uncovered startling numbers of people hooked on opioids who eventually turned to injecting the drugs.