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CDC says Baby Boomers should take hepatitis C test
Exeter Hospital concerned on testing employees for hepatitis C
As New Hampshire and other states test thousands of former patients who may have been exposed to hepatitis C by an infected medical technician at Exeter Hospital, new federal guidelines were announced Thursday recommending that all baby boomers receive a one-time test for the potentially deadly virus.
The recommendations are designed to catch the virus in a generation of Americans with the highest rate of chronic hepatitis infection.
According to the CDC, one in 30 baby boomers — those born between 1945 and 1965 — has hepatitis C, but many are unaware of their infection.
The blood-borne virus can lead to serious liver diseases like liver cancer and is the cause of most liver transplants in the United States.
If baby boomers follow the recommendation and undergo testing, the CDC estimates that an additional 800,000 people will likely be diagnosed with the virus, but new treatments for the disease could save more than 120,000 lives.
Previously, the CDC recommended that only those with high risk for hepatitis infection be tested.
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Jason Schreiber may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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