Maine CDC urges baby boomers to get hepatitis C test
Hepatitis C treatments effectively cure approximately 95 percent of hepatitis C infections. As part of observing National Hepatitis Awareness Month in May, testing days are scheduled throughout the month.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely to contract hepatitis C than any other adult generation. Approximately 3.2 million people have hepatitis C in the U.S., and approximately 75 percent of those people are baby boomers, who are between the ages of 50 and 70.
Most people who have hepatitis C do not realize they have the virus; Between 20 percent and 30 percent of people with hepatitis C experience symptoms. Some of these individuals can live for decades without ever feeling sick or showing symptoms, but if hepatitis C remains untreated, it can damage the liver and cause cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis C is the most common reason for liver transplants in the U.S.
Hepatitis C symptoms include nausea, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, darkened urine, vomiting, abdominal pain, joint pain, clay-colored stools and jaundice.