Why Baby Boomers Are Getting Screened For Hepatitis C [VIDEO]
If your doctor screened you for Hep C, you're in good company, as the Maine CDC is suggesting that all Baby Boomers get tested.
I had a physical about a month ago, and my doctor was very happy that I already knew about the Hepatitis C-Baby Boomer connection. It was one less person she had to explain it to, which when you think about it, can't be a very comfortable conversation. I mean, Hep C is transmitted through blood so, these days, the best ways to catch it usually involve sharing needles or getting tattoos from unlicensed tattoo artists. It is possible to catch Hep C through sexual intercourse, but it's extremely rare.
But, for the Baby Boomer generation (born 1946-1964), there are additional risks. According to the Hep C Hope website, many people of this generation were infected in the '70's and '80's, when infection control wasn't as diligent as it is today. Hep C wasn't even discovered until 1989, and blood screening for the condition wasn't developed until 1992. Plus, it can take many years for symptoms to occur, so many of these folks may not be showing signs until now.
Hepatitis C is a virus that attacks the liver. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, dark urine, jaundice, graying of the stools, loss of appetite and joint pain. If left untreated, it can severely damage the liver, causing liver disease, cancer, or even death.
The good news is that it's curable. And that the test for Hepatitis C is a simple blood test. I'm glad my doctor ordered mine and that I got a negative result. Keep this in mind when you go to the doctor next, and get tested today. It just might save your life.