Federal health experts suggest that all people born between 1945 and 1965 should consider Hepatitis C testing. That generation makes up the majority of Americans with the blood-borne virus. NBC4 Health Expert Dr. Bruce Hensel says not all experts agree on the recommendation, but there's no downside to getting the test. Antonio Castelan reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 18, 2012.
Those born between 1945 and 1965 should get tested for Hepatitis C in light of new information that shows Baby Boomers account for 2 million of the 3.2 million Americans infected with the blood-borne virus, according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
From 1999 to 2007, there was a 50 percent jump in the number of Americans dying from Hepatitis C, according to recent data.
Cheryl Day is a baby boomer, and is now wondering if she should get tested.
"The era we grew up in, you know a lot of sexual activity, and not the knowledge we have today," Day said.
Sexual activity may be one way Hepatitis C can spread. Drug users and people who have received blood transfusions are usually at risk, doctors said.
"Not all experts agree with the CDC recommendation because most people do not have Hepatitis C," said NBC4 health expert Dr. Bruce Hensel. "But the basis for the recommendation is, there is no downside getting the test."
Hepatitis C can scar the liver and eventually lead to cirrhosis or cancer.
"I'd have to talk to my physician about it," Day said about getting the test.
About 3 percent of all Baby Boomers test positive for the virus. The testing recommendation is expected to become final this year.