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Health

Free Hepatitis C Testing Now Available in Greene County

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/hepatitis-c-testing-now-available-greene-county_41181.mp3

Hepatitis C testing is now available from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.  KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson has details.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 3 million people in the United States are infected with Hepatitis C, and that many of them don’t even know it. Earlier this year, the CDC recommended that all “Baby Boomers” born between 1946 and 1964 get tested for Hepatitis C, and it now estimates that about 1 in 30 “boomers” is infected.

Hepatitis C is a contagious disease that attacks the liver.

According to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, patients can be tested for from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the clinic located in the main health department building. That’s at 227 E. Chestnut Expressway.

Tests results are typically available within one week, and you don’t need to make an appointment.

The department says it will host an official Hepatitis C testing day on Monday, July 23. The testing day is especially aimed at Baby Boomers, but is open to all.

Risk factors for contracting the Hepatitis C virus include blood transfusions, sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs, getting a tattoo or body piercing not done by a professional or having sex with a Hepatitis C-infected partner.

In May, the CDC issued new guidelines for Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964, recommending that they all get tested for Hepatitis C, and estimating that about 1 in 30 “boomers” is infected.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Davidson.

ANCHOR TAG:   Those tests for Hepatitis C are free to patients.