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OraSure Technologies Applauds CDC Proposed Draft Guidelines for Testing of Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C

OraSure Technologies, Inc. issued a statement in strong support of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) draft guidelines proposing that all U.S. baby boomers get a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The CDC issued a press release ( ) proposing that all persons born between 1945 and 1965 -- approximately 81 million according to the 2010 Census -- be tested for HCV. CDC's draft recommendations will be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, May 22, and will be made available for public comment until June 8.

The CDC also announced the release of a $6.5 million funding opportunity announcement to expand testing of hepatitis.

According to the CDC, identifying hepatitis C infections early will allow more baby boomers to receive care and treatment, before they develop life threatening liver disease. The CDC believes that one in 30 baby boomers has been infected with hepatitis C, and most don't know it. They estimate that more than 2 million U.S. baby boomers are infected with HCV and are five times more likely to be infected than other adults. Hepatitis C causes serious liver diseases including liver cancer, which is the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related deaths, and the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States, according to the agency.

"Hepatitis C can now be more effectively treated in a high percentage of people with HCV infection, making expanded testing -- particularly among the baby boomer generation-- a critical step in fighting this insidious epidemic," said Douglas A. Michels, President and CEO of OraSure Technologies.

OraQuick(R) HCV is the only FDA-approved rapid, point-of-care test for the detection of antibodies to the hepatitis C virus utilizing fingerstick and venipuncture whole blood specimens in persons with signs or symptoms of hepatitis and in persons at risk for hepatitis C infection. The test, which utilizes the OraQuick(R) technology platform, provides results in 20 minutes.

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