The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone born from 1945–1965 (baby-boomers) get tested for hepatitis C, a disease that causes inflammation and infection of the liver. This condition develops after being infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It can cause lifelong infection, fibrosis (mild to moderate liver scarring), cirrhosis (serious liver scarring), liver cancer, liver failure, and is the leading cause of liver transplants, and death.
People can live with Hep C for decades without symptoms or feeling sick, but most people who get infected develop a chronic, or long-term, infection. Treatments are now available that can cure hepatitis C.
Most baby boomers are believed to have become infected in the 1960s through the 1980s when transmission of hepatitis C was highest. They could have gotten infected from medical equipment or procedures before universal precautions and infection control procedures were adopted. Others may have been infected from contaminated blood before widespread screening eliminated the virus from the blood supply by 1992. Sharing needles or equipment used to prepare or inject drugs, even if only once in the past, could spread hepatitis C.
Anyone born during this era is encouraged to contact their doctor for more information and to get tested.