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CDC: Boomers, get hepatitis test

An acquaintance tells me that he heard on TV several days ago that the CDC is urging everyone born between 1945 and 1965 to be tested for a disease. Do you have more information about this?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for the hepatitis C virus. The CDC said in a recent news release that baby boomers account for more than 75 percent of all American adults living with the virus. About 1 in 30 boomers is infected, and thousands die each year of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis C can damage the liver for years with few symptoms, the CDC says. Baby boomers are five times more likely to be infected than other adults and the CDC decided to recommend testing after the number of Americans who died from diseases related to hepatitis C nearly doubled from 1999 to 2007, the Associated Press reported.

According to a report on National Public Radio, "The hepatitis C virus can be transmitted through sharing needles. It was also spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants before widespread screening of the blood supply began in 1992."

The CDC said detection and new medication can cure up to 75 percent of infections.

Bullets for NOAA

The National Weather Service has solicited bids for supplying the service with a total of 46,000 cartridges with hollow point bullets. Why would they need these?

The ammunition's destination was a clerical error, and the bullets were ordered for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, not the National Weather Service, a NOAA spokesman told the Washington Post. "Ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies and it will be used by 63 NOAA enforcement personnel in their firearms qualifications and training," he said.

Vacation home taxes

If a person owns two houses, one as a primary residence and the second one as a vacation house, which he does not rent out, will the 3.8 percent sales tax to fund Medicare in the health care law apply on sales of vacation house?

The gain from the sale of a vacation home generally will be subject to the tax. In addition, the tax generally will not apply to the first $250,000 (for a single filer) or $500,000 (for married people filing jointly) from the sale of a primary residence, as well, attorney Christopher Rylands told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"The gain is generally the amount the seller receives over what he/she paid for it," he said. Rylands suggested consulting a tax adviser to "determine what amounts are excludable because the exclusion amount can be reduced in certain circumstances."

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09/10/12 [Last modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 1:30pm]
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