Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein urges baby boomers to request a blood test from their health care provider to screen for the hepatitis C virus.
More than 3 million Americans live with the virus and most do not know it; three-quarters of them were born between 1945 and 1965. Hepatitis C over time can cause liver damage, liver failure, cirrhosis, liver cancer and death, and is the top cause of liver transplants. Burstein encouraged boomers and others who believe they are at risk to visit cdc.gov/hepatitis/RiskAssessment and take a five-minute Hepatitis Risk Assessment.
The county health clinic at the Jesse Nash Health Center, 608 William St., offers antibody screening to those in certain risk groups and a onetime screening to anyone who was born between 1945 and 1965. The cost is covered by most private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. For more information, visit erie.gov/health or call 858-7687.