There is an upsetting increase in the amount of those infected with Hepatitis C

There's been a startling increase in the number of Iowa who've been infected with a life-threatening virus hepatitis C.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health more than 55 percent of Iowans diagnosed with Hepatitis C between the ages 18 and 64 live in one of six counties including Woodbury County.

Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplants in the U-S.

But many people don't know they have it.

That's why testing is so important.

"Very rarely does someone just come in and get tested for Hepatitis C unless they are aware of somebody close or a close contact with someone who has had hepatitis C or maybe they have been made aware of the risks." said Tyler Brock the Deputy Director, Siouxland District Health

Most people become infected with the Hepatitis C from sharing needles or other devices used to inject drugs.

The C- D- C recommends getting tested if you are between the ages of 45 and 64. They also recommend getting tested if:

You ever injected non-prescription drugs, even if you injected only one time or many years ago.

If you were treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987.

If you received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992.

If You work in health care and were exposed to blood through a needle- stick or other sharp object injury.

Or if You are infected with H- I- V.

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