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Avera Holds Free Hepatitis C Screening

January 15, 2013, 5:50 AM by Kellee Azar

Avera Holds Free Hepatitis C Screening

While you've likely heard of Hepatitis C, you may not know who is at risk or why. Doctors say one age group in particular has the highest risk.

It turns out people born between 1945 and 1965 are at the highest risk.  In fact, more than 75 percent of people living with Hepatitis C are "baby boomers."

You are also at risk if you received a blood transfusion or transplant before 1992, if you've ever injected elicit drugs, or received a piercing or tattoo in an unclean environment using un-sterile equipment.

But patients don't always have symptoms, so it's important to have a simple blood test.

"No one knows exactly why, why the risk factors or why the prevalence of Hep C in this age group is higher than the rest," Avera Heptologist Dr. Hesham Elhouhari said.

Avera McKennan is holding a free Hepatitis C testing clinic Tuesday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the hospital.  If you're unable to attend the event, many insurances do cover the screening.

Patients will get the results in just a matter of days. If caught early enough Hepatitis C is curable.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
The reference to Hepatitis C patients being baby boomers was corrected.

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