The federal government Friday called for all baby boomers to be tested for hepatitis C, which kills more Americans each year than AIDS and is the leading reason for liver transplants.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the recommendation to find hundreds of thousands of people who don't realize that they have the infection, which greatly increases their chances of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer.
The hepatitis C virus is transmitted by blood, usually through intravenous drug use or transfusions. A blood test for it became widely available in 1992. Extremely small amounts of the virus are able to cause infection. Some experts believe that rolled-up dollar bills used to snort cocaine and passed person to person can carry enough infected blood to transmit the virus.