Baby boomers not included in task force guidelines for hepatitis C screening (Dr. Julio Montaner)

The average Canadian adult does not need to be screened for infection with hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that can in time cause cirrhosis or cancer of the liver, says a task force that develops practice guidelines for primary-care providers.

In its first hepatitis C screening guidelines released Monday, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care recommends against widespread testing of adults unless they are considered to have an elevated risk for the disease.

“The burden of disease related to hepatitis C in North America is currently increasing and in fact is larger than the burden of disease posed by all other reportable infectious diseases,” including tuberculosis and HIV, said Dr. Julio Montaner, director of the BC Centre of Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

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