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Hospitals Must Now Offer Hepatitis C Testing to Those Born Between 1945 and 1965

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) recently announced that legislation he cosponsored requiring hospitals and health service providers to offer testing for Hepatitis C to all patients born between 1945 and 1965, has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo.

     "Studies have shown that the overwhelming number of Hepatitis C infections and Hepatitis C related deaths occur in individuals born between 1945 and 1965,” said Senator Fuschillo. “Providing testing to those most at risk of contracting hepatitis C will help fight this debilitating and potentially fatal disease and keep New Yorkers safe. I commend Governor Cuomo for signing this law.”

     According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 75 % of Hepatitis C infection and about 73 % of Hepatitis C-associated mortality occurs in individuals born between 1945 and 1965 – baby boomers. New York State Department of Health statistics show that as many as 150,000 New Yorkers are unaware of their Hepatitis C status. The new law will ensure that all individuals born between 1945 and 1965 are offered a hepatitis C screening test or diagnostic test whenever they are a patient at a hospital, clinic or a physician's office.

     The new law takes effect on January 1, 2014.