Boomers should get hep C test

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued a statement Tuesday that recommends people born between 1945 and 1965 be screened for hepatitis C because they or someone they had contact with may have received a blood transfusion before the country’s blood supply was screened for the virus.

Commonly spread through the blood transfusions, organ transplants, needle sticks or intravenous drug use, hepatitis C is a chronic virus that attacks the liver and can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Babies can also get the disease if their mother has it.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne pathogen in the U.S. that affects 3.2 million people, many of whom may not know they have the disease.