Hepatitis C : proposed expansion of testing recommendations, 2012
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Hepatitis C : proposed expansion of testing recommendations, 2012

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      Hepatitis C is an unrecognized health crisis in the United States. This life-threatening infection affects an estimated 3.2 million Americans, most of whom are “baby boomers” (those born from 1945 through 1965). And while newly available treatments can cure the majority of hepatitis C cases, most people do not seek care because they do not know they are infected.

      Diagnosing hepatitis C early is key, since the longer the virus goes undetected, the greater a person’s risk of developing serious liver disease, including liver cancer and cirrhosis. Deaths due to hepatitis C are increasing, reaching more than 15,000 in 2007.

      CDC’s current public health recommendations focus on testing only individuals with known hepatitis C risk factors. To identify more hidden infections, provide prompt and appropriate care and treatment, and avoid tens of thousands of hepatitis C-related illnesses and deaths, CDC is proposing one-time hepatitis C testing for all baby boomers. The new draft recommendations will be available for public comment from May 22–June 8, 2012, and will be finalized later in the year.


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