Hepatitis C : expansion of testing recommendations, 2012
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Hepatitis C : 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 persons treated for hepatitis C, 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 transmission and 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 previous public health recommendations focused on testing only individuals with known risks for hepatitis C. 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 now expanding these guidelines to recommend one-time hepatitis C testing for all baby boomers.

      Fact sheet released explaining: Recommendations for the identification of chronic hepatitis C virus infection among persons born during 1945–1965. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2012 Aug 17;61(RR-4):1-32.

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