BOSTON (WWLP) – Millions of Americans are infected with Hepatitis C and don’t even know it. Lawmakers told 22News about their efforts to prevent the disease from spreading.
Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease that can last anywhere from a few weeks to an entire lifetime. Lawmakers held a screening at the State House to make sure people get tested.
More than 4 million Americans are infected with Hepatitis C. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many people don’t even know they’re infected because they don’t look or feel sick.
Although up to 25 percent of people infected with Hepatitis C could be cleared of the disease, many people suffer for an entire lifetime.
Doctors say baby boomers born between 1945 to 1965 need to be checked because they account for more than 75 percent of infections.
Dr. Camilla Graham from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said, “Go to your doctor, ask for the test. It’s a simple blood test, you can do it at the same time as that you get your cholesterol checked, and you can find out if you’re one out of the thirty baby boomers that’s been infected with Hepatitis C.”
Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplant and liver cancer.
Doctor Graham said that in recent years, more people die from Hepatitis C than HIV, stressing the importance to get tested, especially if you were born between 1945 and 1965.