A quarter million Canadians are believed to have the hepatitis C virus at this moment, and many have no idea.

Dr. Rod Russell says HCV is a long progression, and you don’t normally see liver disease or cirrhosis until years 15 or 20 into the infection. He says treating the infection early can prevent damage to the liver earlier but there is still a problem.

Russel says it’s really baby boomers at the highest risk, and to be specific, it’s our mothers, the women who gave birth before 1992, especially if they had blood transfusions during pregnancy. Their children are also at risk because if the mother received tainted blood, the baby could also be affected. Dr. Russel adds anybody in that demographic should get tested.

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