Lawsuit Seeks Hepatitis C Treatment For Missouri Inmates
February 5, 2018
MS Global Expert Panel Proposes Updaing McDonald Criteria to Diagnose Multiple Sclerosis
February 6, 2018
Show all

HCV and Children

Hepatitis C does not just affect adults; many children also face this potentially deadly disease.

Hepatitis C screening programs and treatment outreach tend to focus on three key populations: Baby Boomers, IV drug users, and prison populations. This is understandable, since rates of infection are notable in these high-risk groups. However, children infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) deserve attention, too. Of the more than 4 million people with HCV in the United States, approximately 250,000 of them are children.

For children, the likely route of infection traces back to mother-to-child transmission from HCV-infected pregnant women. The higher the mother’s viral load, the higher the risk of infection for her child. The infection can be spread whether birth is vaginal or C-section, since the virus from the mother’s body can cross the placenta to the fetus. In fact, up to 10% of children born to mothers with HCV will be infected with this chronic and life-threatening virus. A common scenario is for the mother to be an IV drug user, which can complicate the diagnosis of the child, if the parent does not pursue testing for the child. The screening test for HCV is not accurate until the infant is 18 months old, since HCV-related antibodies from the mother can stay in the blood of an infant for that long, even if the child does not have an infection.

There are fewer HCV medications approved for use in children, compared to the number of medications approved by the FDA for adults. But the positive news here is that there are approved medications for this young population. Hepatitis C does not need to be a death sentence, and certainly not so in children.

Source

Kukielka E. Researchers consider hepatitis C vertical transmission rates. MD Magazine January 14, 2018.

Read full article: HCV and Children

Read Full Article: HCV and Children

The health and medical information on our website is not intended to take the place of advice or treatment from health care professionals. It is also not intended to substitute for the users’ relationships with their own health care/pharmaceutical providers.

Comments are closed.