Southern Illinois sees shocking rise of Hepatitis C

Cases of Hepatitis C -- a blood borne virus that attacks the liver and is spread via shared drug needles, unsterile tattoos and other means -- are on the rise. It's a "silent epidemic" waiting to strike many unsuspecting Baby Boomers and young adults, health officials warn, because the liver has a long memory. Even if you have forgotten what you did this past weekend, or in the freewheeling 1970s, your liver did not.  

Hoping to stem the tide of premature deaths from liver-related complications, lawmakers narrowly passed a bill in recent days that would require doctors to offer screening tests for patients considered high-risk for Hepatitis C.

It is curable in most cases, but left undetected can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and death.

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