Hepatitis C screening offered at MSDH for baby boomers
The Mississippi State Department of Health is providing free testing for Hepatitis C during the month of October.
According to a release from the department of health, more than 3 million Americans are infected with the disease, 75 percent of which are unaware.
The free screenings are being offered to people born between 1945 and 1965 because they are five times more likely to have been exposed, the release states.
Most people who are infected with Hepatitis C are unaware they have it because they exhibit no symptoms. But in the long term they begin to experience complications, such as liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer and death, the release states.
“Hepatitis C is an important diagnosis to make,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr., Thomas Dobbs in the release. “With the availability of effective treatments for chronic Hepatitis C, diagnosis and awareness are critical to preventing long-term complications of cirrhosis and liver cancer. In fact, Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver caner and the number one cause of liver transplants.”
Prior to 1992 Hepatitis C, a blood-borne disease, was spread through IV drug use, blood transfusions and needle sticks, the release states. It’s also transmitted through sexual contact, childbirth and, in rare instances, from sharing personal items like toothbrushes and razors.