If some decades ago, hepatitis C was a pretty challenging disease, nowadays medicine can handle it better. With that in mind, the CDC is advising baby boomers to take the hepatitis C test. The concern is that some 800,000 people will be diagnosed with early hepatitis C.
There’s one advice all doctors have in mind: prevention is way better than treatment. It’s been emphasized for years now, but there still are many postponing a check up and dismissing their symptoms. When it comes to hepatitis C, early diagnosis will help you reduce the risk of liver disease and cancer.
CDC’s advice comes ahead the first ever National Hepatitis Testing Day. Officials say that in the light of data that show 2 million U.S. baby boomers have been diagnosed with hepatitis C, people that were born from 1945 to 1965 should get checked up. Basically this generation now accounts for about three quarters of the people that have been infected with the virus in the United States.
The National Hepatitis Testing Day is also a way to raise awareness regarding the risks. Dr. John W. Ward, CDC hepatitis chief, explains that they view “hepatitis C as an unrecognized health crisis for the country, and we believe the time is now for a bold response”.
Experts believe that most of the baby boomers’ generation has been infected with the hepatitis C virus during their teenage and young adult years. Based on CDC’s report, about 800,000 baby boomers are estimated to be diagnosed with the virus. Given that the virus wasn’t identified until 1989, it’s likely many people don’t even know they are at risk of a life threatening condition.
Some might think that the advice is not exactly mandatory. The truth is that it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially since hepatitis C puts you at risk of liver cancer, which is fast becoming the lead cause of death in cancer patients.
Kevin Fenton, the director of the CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, said: “Identifying these hidden infections early will allow more baby boomers to receive care and treatment before they develop life-threatening liver disease”.