Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=209158
Story Retrieval Date: 5/26/2013 4:07:54 AM CST
Hepatitis C is often contracted through direct contact with infected blood or bodily fluids.
The viral disease attacks the liver and can lead to severe liver damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 12,000 people die every year from hepatitis C-related liver disease.
Of the patients with hepatitis C, only about 20-25 percent have actually been diagnosed and actually know they have hepatitis C.
Only 6-11 percent of those diagnosed have actually been treated for their hepatitis C.
CDC recommends that baby boomers get a one-time screening for hepatitis C because thousands who are infected can benefit from early treatment before symptoms are obvious.
Pain/ache in the right upper portion of their abdomen
Darkening of their urine
(Information from an interview with Dr. Donald Jensen, director of the Center for Liver Disease at the University of Chicago Medicine.)