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Baby boomers face high risk of po­ten­tially deadly vi­rus

• Updated May 6, 2018 at 10:29 PM

Lo­cal baby boomers are at high risk for a po­ten­tially deadly vi­rus and may not even know it.

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.

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