VA Wants Baby Boomer Veterans Tested For Hepititus "C"

Feb 16, 2017

Blood test
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The increasing possibility of having Hepatitis C among Baby Boomers is a reality being addressed by the Veteran's Administration.

Hepatitis C is a virus that can lead to liver failure. It's transmitted through blood.

Christina Paris is a VA nurse working at the clinic based in Rhinelander....

"...we're checking people born between 1945 and 1965 for exposure to blood that had not been tested. Prior to 1992 we were not regularly testing blood products for transfusions or people who had organ transplants for viruses such as Hepatitus or HIV. After HIV was discovered we started improving our testing...."

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that between 2.7 and 3.9 million people have "Hep C". Christina Paris outlines who is at high risk....

"....people who are high risk are IV drug users, people with blood transfusions or organ transplants prior to 1992. People who have been exposed to family members or partners who have had Hepatitis 'C' as well...."

Paris says many Baby Boomers have never been tested for Hepatitis C.

She says many people carrying the virus don't show symptoms of hepatitis.  She says some of the symptoms include generalized weakness, pain near the liver, jaundice or yellow coloring to the skin. Paris says the VA has taken a pro-active approach and they've tried to contact as many veterans as possible in that age range and encouraged them to come in and get tested.

She says while they are encouraging veterans to be tested, Paris says anyone concerned about possible infection should contact their healthcare provider.

More information is here.