There are several different forms of the Hepatitis virus, but perhaps the most dangerous kind is the dreaded "C" classification. People with Hepatitis C can have complications that include cirrhosis and liver cancer, and the lack of distinct symptoms mean that this disease can lay dormant for decades before presenting in the elderly.
Dr. John Ward, the hepatitis chief at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Boston Globe that "One of every 33 baby boomers are living with hepatitis C infection. Most people will be surprised, because it's a silent epidemic."
Private home care can inform their patients of risk factors that may increase the chance of having a Hepatitis C infection. These include, but are not limited to, things like receiving a blood transfusion before 1992 or using needle drugs even once in the course of a lifetime. Even a single exposure to contaminated medical equipment could cause a lengthy infection that cannot be guaranteed to be cured.
According to the Boston Globe, federal officials are considering a mandatory Hepatitis C test for people born between 1945 and 1965 - the exact age range of the baby boomer generation.