MISSISSIPPI (WTOK) - A statewide effort is being made this week to address a major health-care concern for veterans. Hepatitis C screenings will be provided for veterans on Thursday, March 15th at V-A hospitals and clinics throughout Mississippi. Organizers say appointments are not needed. Jim White is a local veterans' volunteer. He says the screenings are important because members of the military are often sent to areas where health conditions are not as safe as they should be.
"Statistically, veterans in the 1945 to 1965 birthday group are five times as likely as the general population to have contracted this," says White. "It's asymptomatic; you don't know you have it until you're pretty far down the line, but it is important for you to get it fixed. It can lead to complications such as Cirrhosis or other liver damage, or even I'm told, liver cancer is a possibility."
White says there is a treatment for Hepatitis C which has a 90% cure rate. Screenings for infection will be available for veterans from 9 AM until 4 PM on Thursday at V-A hospitals and clinics throughout Mississippi. The screenings will be free for enrolled veterans. Participants are advised to take a photo i-d and record of military service with them.