The number of new hepatitis C infections has reached a 15-year high, tripling over the last five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
New virus infections are increasing among young people ages 20 to 29. This is primarily due to more people using injection drugs, according to the CDC.
However, three-quarters of individuals living with hepatitis C are baby boomers (born between 1945 and 1965). They are six times more likely to be infected and to die as a result of the virus.
Hepatitis C shows few symptoms and nearly half the people infected are not aware of it. The most common transmission method is injection drug usage, but other ways include being unintentionally exposed in a health facility or transmission from mother to child.
Symptoms are mild or sometimes nonexistent for years. Since hepatitis C primarily affects the liver, dark urine, yellow skin or abdominal pain could be signs of infection. Talk to your doctor about your hepatitis C risk and ask if you should be tested.