Public Information Supervisor for the Livingston County Health Center Ann Burchett spoke with KMZU’s Sandi Wilson about Hepatitis C awareness.

Ann Burchett1

Ann Burchett tells us about the high risk of Hepatitis C for baby boomers.

Ann Burchett2

Hepatitis C is a serious disease that can cause serious health issues. Ann Burchett says a one time test could make all the difference.

Ann Burchett3

According to the Livingston County Health Center, people who were born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely to be infected with Hepatitis C. Seventy five percent of adults with Hepatitis C are baby boomers. The reason for this is not known. People can live with the disease for years without knowing they have it. While there is no known cure for hepatitis C, advancements in medicine have given us new treatments. It is estimated that one time testing of baby boomers can prevent more than 120,000 deaths and find 800,000 undiagnosed cases.

Press Release From Livingston County Health Center

April 22nd, 2014: Livingston County Health Center will offer Hepatitis C screening by appointment for $20 at their Specialized Screening Clinic on Wednesday, April 30th from 8-10 a.m.
CDC is recommending that everyone born during 1945 through 1965, also known as baby boomers, get a blood test for Hepatitis C. This recommendation calls for one-time testing of baby boomers.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis C virus. For some people, the disease can cause serious health problems including liver damage, cirrhosis, and even death. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer and the leading reason for liver transplants.
People with Hepatitis C:
• Often have no symptoms
• Can live for decades without feeling sick
• Can be successfully treated with medications
This Hepatitis C testing recommendation was made because:
• There are high rates of Hepatitis C in people born during 1945-1965.
• People born during 1945 through 1965 are 5 times more likely than other adults to be infected. In fact, 75% of adults with Hepatitis C were born in these years. The reasons why baby boomers have the highest rates of Hepatitis C are not completely understood.
• Testing can help prevent deaths from Hepatitis C.
• The numbers of people who will develop serious health problems and die from Hepatitis C are expected to rise rapidly in the coming years. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. It is estimated that one-time testing of everyone born during 1945 through 1965 will prevent more than 120,000 deaths.
• There is a lack of awareness.
Many people with Hepatitis C do not know that they have the disease. One-time testing of everyone born during 1945 through 1965 would find an estimated 800,000 undiagnosed Hepatitis C cases.
There have been recent advances in treatment.
Two new medicines are now available, that when added to the standard treatment can increase the effectiveness and shorten treatment time for many people. For many people with Hepatitis C, medical treatment can result in the virus no longer being detected in the blood.
Anyone interested in getting tested for Hepatitis C should call the health center at (660) 646-5506 to make an appointment for the clinic. You can also find more information on their Facebook page or their website