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CDC to baby boomers: Get tested for hepatitis C

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MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

ATLANTA (AP) -- The government is recommending all baby boomers get tested for hepatitis C.

Anyone born from 1945 to 1965 should get a one-time blood test to see if they have the liver-destroying virus.

It can take decades to cause liver damage, and many people don't know they're harboring the blood-borne virus. Baby boomers account for about two-thirds of the 3.2 million Americans thought to be infected.

Previously, testing was recommended only for people considered at highest risk. It's most commonly spread today by sharing needles to inject illegal drugs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proposed the new guidelines earlier this year and made them final on Thursday. CDC officials took the step after seeing a near doubling of hepatitis C deaths since the late 1990s.

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Online:

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/C/index.htm

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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