You could be one in four million with an illness that is virtually invisible; we are talking about Hepatitis C. Out of those 4 million infected; only 25 percent have been tested, meaning only 25 percent are getting treatment while the others could be spreading it to you.
Some are not concerned with getting tested for Hepatitis C. "I'm not really worried about it because I wasn't involved in risky practices. I wasn't an avid drug user, sexually active, things that seem to be indicators," said Rhonda Cooper.
While others are concerned. "Actually it is a concern. We have a couple of family members where that very thing has come up in their lives," said Linda Allen.
We learned from the CDC that anyone born between 1945 and 1965 are labeled as high risk for Hepatitis C, which is 27 percent of the population. "The main reason for that is that 75 percent of the causes of Hepatitis C are in that age group," said Dr. Doug Springer.
The second reason is that it takes years for it to show up in your system. "It's only people effected in the late 60s early 70s that are now showing up 30 years later with cirrhosis," said Springer.
Hepatitis is a virus that gets into your liver and causes inflation that can eventually cause cirrhosis or liver disease. "It's a blood-borne infection. It can be acquired through I.V. drug use, blood transfusions, and needle stick exposure," said Springer.
We learned that you could even pick it up from a needle while getting a tattoo.
Doctor Doug Springer tells us that it is extremely important for people to be tested because with the Baby Boomer generation being the target age group, it is causing a few problems. "You're not guaranteed that if you develop cirrhosis and then liver disease that you'll ever get a transplant," said Springer.
With only 5,000 organs and 17,000 needing the procedure, prevention is the only solution. "After our conversation, I'll probably be following up and trying to get some testing," said Allen.
The Baby Boomers are the target age group because of the low regulations for blood transplants and needles.
News 5 also learned that 25 percent of people who receive a liver scan could show up clean, so it is important to have blood work done to get the best results.
Hepatitis C is curable if caught early.