CDC recommends hepatitis C tests for all baby boomers
Posted 19 May 2012 - 10:38 AM
By David Brown, Published: May 18
The federal government Friday called for all baby boomers to be tested for hepatitis C, which kills more Americans each year than AIDS and is the leading reason for liver transplants.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the recommendation to find hundreds of thousands of people who have the infection, which greatly increases their chances of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer, but donít know it.
The hepatitis C virus is transmitted by blood, usually through intravenous drug use or transfusions, before a blood test for it became widely available in 1992. Extremely small amounts of the virus are able to cause infection. Some experts believe that rolled-up dollar bills used to snort cocaine and passed person-to-person can carry enough infected blood to transmit the virus.
ďMany baby boomers may not even remember the behaviors that put them at risk,Ē said John W. Ward, head of the CDCís division of viral hepatitis.
Epidemiologists estimate that about 3.2 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C, three-quarters of them baby boomers. The disease kills at least 15,000 people a year.
The CDCís strategy calls for a one-time voluntary blood test for everyone born from 1945 to 1965. The test would be done by doctors, clinics and hospitals as part of routine medical care. Hepatitis C tests now target mostly people who report high-risk activities or show signs of abnormal liver function.
The strategy could identify 800,000 new cases in baby boomers and prevent 120,000 hepatitis-related deaths in that age group, Ward said.
Posted 19 May 2012 - 12:50 PM
Posted 19 May 2012 - 01:09 PM
About 80 percent of people infected with hepatitis C remain so for their lifetimes. Most have no symptoms, although blood tests might reveal low-grade liver inflammation. Up to 30 percent eventually develop cirrhosis, a scarring of the liver that is often fatal. Cirrhosis also greatly increases the risk of developing liver cancer, which few people survive more than six months.
I hope that I don't have it.
...and I sure hope that I don't also have an undiagnosed case of TB.
This post has been edited by BerkeleyUnderground: 19 May 2012 - 01:09 PM
Posted 19 May 2012 - 01:38 PM
Amen. Now if they'd just test all the illegals and kids to get rid of whooping cough, TB, bubonic plague and other diseases that were once pretty much eradicated in the USA. Read the (obsolete) newspaper or listen to the news about new epidemics breaking out every week. Especially here in the border cities where the Mexicans come and go, crossing the border on a daily basis. They can live in filthy Tijuana and still get a green card or whatever to work here as maids, gardeners, etc. and send their (censored) kids to our schools here even though none of them are American citizens.
Posted 19 May 2012 - 04:54 PM
Color me skeptical...
Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:30 PM
Color me skeptical...
Hepatitis A and B can often be prevented with vaccine (if you aren't already infected) but there is currently no vaccine for Hep-C. It is one of those "the sooner you know, the better" conditions; much like HIV, TB, syphilis, cancer, or virtually anything else you can think up. A routine screening is no big deal and has more to do with the individual acting responsibly than it does with BigBrotherism.