Hepatitis C screenings now recommended for people 18 to 79

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 8:21 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A recent uptick in Hepatitis C cases has caused the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force to revise its guidelines.

People ages 18 to 79 are now recommended to have Hepatitis C screening and tests for detection.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, light-colored stool, loss of appetite, fever, abdominal pain, fatigue, joint pain, dark urine, and/or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

The virus can be transmitted through blood via used injection needles or sometimes sexual activity.

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine Professor Dr. Shane Speights says a lot of people have Hepatitis C and may not know it.

“One of the things about Hepatitis C is you don’t necessarily get sick immediately,” Dr. Speights said. “It could be many, many years later that you’re actually sick.”

Dr. Speights added Hepatitis C can be fatal if it goes undetected, which is why he is strongly encouraging people to get screened.

“About 95% of the time, we got great treatments that can actually put that into remission,” he said. “We have great treatments available, so there is no reason why people shouldn’t get screened for it and get tested.”

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