Why Most People Don't Know They're Infected with Hepatitis C


Elizabeth Hanes, RN

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The hepatitis C virus (HCV or hep C) can be a silent disease, infecting the liver for years without producing symptoms. While this disease can strike anyone, of any age, baby boomers might be the hardest-hit group. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate people born between 1946 and 1965 account for three-quarters of the 3 million HCV cases in the United States. Hep C also kills more boomers than any other age group. Yet many baby boomers have no idea they’re infected with this potentially lethal virus.

What is hepatitis C?

The term "hepatitis" means "liver inflammation." Hepatitis, in general, can be caused by many things, including toxic substances, alcohol abuse and bacterial or viral infections.

In the last few years, a lot has changed in the way we treat hepatitis C. Do you know all the facts?

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Oct 23, 2015