October 24, 2013
This article was reported in Infection Control Today.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D-N.Y.) signed into law a statute that would require New York hospitals, clinics, and physicians' offices to offer hepatitis C testing to all individuals born between 1945 and 1965. Sponsored by Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-6th District) and Assemblymember Kenneth Zebrowski (D-94th District), A.1286-A/S.2750-A aimed to identify hepatitis-infected New Yorkers and ensure they receive information and life-saving treatment before they developed serious liver disease. The law will take effect January 1, 2014.
CDC reported that approximately 75 percent of hepatitis C cases and approximately 73 percent of hepatitis C-associated mortality occurred among baby boomers, and recommended hepatitis C screening for all Americans in this age group. According to the New York State Department of Health statistics, up to 150,000 New Yorkers could be unaware they have hepatitis. Zebrowski noted that hepatitis C was "a silent killer" that could attack the liver long before showing any symptoms. Requiring New York health facilities to offer baby boomers hepatitis C testing would provide testing for those most likely to have the disease.
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