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Baby Boomers at Risk for Hepatitis C

Baby boomers have had a lot of health risks to watch out for over the years, and now, scientists have found one more illness to watch out for. On Monday, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released records tying the liver-destroying disease, hepatitis C, to the middle-age group, with two-thirds of cases being between people born from 1945 to 1965. After testing millions Americans they're now considering giving one-time blood tests to check if their livers harbor the illness that takes years to rear its ugly head. The silent disease is not only transmitted through sharing needles, but before 1992, was in many untested blood transfusions.

The CDC study also found that in 2007 there were 2,000 more hepatitis C related deaths than AIDS related deaths — it's estimated that 3.2 million Americans now have hepatitis C. Treatment for it is being seen as a common deterrent as it costs up to $30,000 and requires a year drug treatment that only cures 40 percent of those diagnosed. Dr. John Ward, the hepatitis chief researcher at the CDC, had strong sentiments about the findings. "One of every 33 baby boomers are living with hepatitis C infection," he said. Adding, "Most people will be surprised, because it's a silent epidemic… Mortality will continue to grow for the next 10 to 15 years, at least, unless we do something different [to find and treat the silent sufferers]." 

Should baby boomers be required to get testing to prevent the spread of the disease? If they are required will the government reduce the cost of treatment?

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