According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 30 baby boomers has hepatitis C, and most don’t know it. Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease resulting from infection with the hepatitis C virus.
Baby boomers (adults born between 1945-1965) are five times more likely to have hepatitis C compared to other populations. The exact reason why baby boomers are at increased risk for hepatitis C is not known, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all in this age group be screened at least once in their lifetime.
During the month of June, Linn County Public Health will offer free hepatitis C screening to adults born between 1945-1965. Results are ready in 20 minutes.
“Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants in the United States. Screening helps people learn if they are infected and get them into lifesaving care and treatment,” Linn County Public Health Director Pramod Dwivedi stated in a press release. “Treatments are available that can eliminate the virus from the body and prevent liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.”
For more information on hepatitis C, visit www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv . To schedule an appointment for a confidential screen, call Linn County Public Health at (319) 892-6093.