Hepatitis C is a primarily blood-borne viral infection affecting the liver. Baby boomers as a group seem to have a higher incidence of infection than the norm, and consequently are encouraged to get a blood test during their routine physical.
The reason that boomers have high rates of hepatitis C is not completely understood, according to the CDC. Most boomers are believed to have been infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of hepatitis C were the highest. Many boomers could have gotten infected from contaminated blood and blood products before widespread screening of the blood supply began in 1992 and universal precautions were adopted, it says. Others may have become infected from injecting drugs, even if only once in the past, the CDC says.
The virus can stay silent for 20 to 30 years or more before causing problems, including cirrhosis, liver cancer and other complications. It may take that long for symptoms, such as fatigue, jaundice, to show up.WCVB