The Coming Hepatitis C Crisis
The baby boomers, men and women born between 1945 and 1965, number about 76 million people. This huge segment of the population has a higher risk than others of having a serious but often curable disease. Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by a virus which, untreated, can lead to severe liver damage and even death. Many people do not know they have it, and many of those people are boomers. Health officials recommend that all people who were born during the boom years be screened for hep C, which consists of having a simple blood test. This significant public health issue is expected to peak in the next 20 years, and experts think that 2019 could be a critical time, when an estimated 14,000 cases of liver cancer stemming from Hepatitis C could be diagnosed.