BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuHepatitis C - childrenSilent infection - HCV children; Antivirals - hepatitis C children; HCV children; Pregnancy - hepatitis C - children; Maternal transmission - hepatitis C - children Hepatitis C in children is inflammation of tissue of the liver. It occurs due to infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Other common hepatitis virus infections include hepatitis A and hepatitis B.Hepatitis AHepatitis A in children is swelling and inflamed tissue of the liver due to the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is the most common type of hepa...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Hepatitis BAll content below is taken in its entirety from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Tdap Vaccine Information Statement (VIS): www. cdc. gov/vaccine...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Causes A child may get HCV from an HCV-infected mother, at the time of birth.Almost 6 out of every 100 infants born to mothers with an HCV infection have hepatitis C. There is no treatment to prevent hepatitis C at birth. Adolescents and teens can also get an HCV infection. There are many causes of hepatitis C in teens, including:Being stuck with a needle after use by an HCV-infected person Coming in contact with the blood of an infected person Using street drugs Having unprotected sexual contact with a person with HCV Getting tattoos or acupuncture therapy with infected needlesHepatitis C does not spread from breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, coughing, or sneezing. Symptoms Symptoms develop in children about 4 to 12 weeks after infection. If the body is able to fight HCV, the symptoms end within a few weeks to 6 months. This condition is called acute hepatitis C infection.However, some children never get rid of HCV. This condition is called chronic hepatitis C infection. Most children with hepatitis C (acute or chronic) do not show any symptoms until more advanced liver damage is present. If symptoms do occur, they may include:Liver damageCirrhosis is scarring of the liver and poor liver function. It is the last stage of chronic liver disease.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Pain in the right upper abdomen Clay-colored or pale stools Dark urine Tiredness Fever Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice) JaundiceJaundice is a yellow color of the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes. The yellow coloring comes from bilirubin, a byproduct of old red blood cells. Jau...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Loss of appetite Nausea and vomiting Exams and Tests Your child's health care provider will perform blood tests to detect HCV in blood. Two most common blood tests are:Enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to find the hepatitis C antibody Hepatitis C RNA assays to measure virus levels (viral load)Infants born to hepatitis C-positive mothers should undergo testing at 18 months of age. This is the time when antibodies from the mother will decrease. At that time, the test will more truly reflect the baby's antibody status.The following tests detect liver damage from hepatitis C:Albumin level Albumin levelAlbumin is a protein made by the liver. A serum albumin test measures the amount of this protein in the clear liquid portion of the blood. Albumin c...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Liver function tests Liver function testsLiver function tests are common tests that are used to see how well the liver is working. Tests include:AlbuminAlpha-1 antitrypsinAlkaline phosphata...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Prothrombin time Prothrombin timeProthrombin time (PT) is a blood test that measures the time it takes for the liquid portion (plasma) of your blood to clot. A related blood test is ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Liver biopsy Liver biopsyA liver biopsy is a test that takes a sample of tissue from the liver for examination.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Abdominal ultrasoundThese tests show how well your child's treatment is working. Treatment The main aim of treatment in children is to relieve the symptoms and stop the disease from spreading. If your child has symptoms, make sure that your child:Gets plenty of rest Drinks lots of fluids Eats healthy food Acute hepatitis C does not need any special treatment. However, your child can pass the virus to others. You should take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading.Chronic hepatitis C needs treatment. The goal of treatment is to prevent complications.If there is no sign of the HCV infection after 6 months, then your child has fully recovered. However, if your child develops chronic hepatitis C, it can cause liver disease later in life.Your child's provider may recommend antiviral medicines for chronic HCV. These medicines:Have fewer side effects Are easier to take Are taken by mouth The choice of whether to use medicines in children for hepatitis C is not clear. Medicines that have been used, interferon and ribavirin, carry a lot of side effects and some risks. Newer and safer medicines have been approved for adults, but not yet for children. Many experts recommend waiting on treatment of HCV in children until these newer medicines are approved for use in children. Outlook (Prognosis) Children younger than 3 years old may not need any treatment. Infection in this age group often resolves without any complications. Possible Complications The possible complications of hepatitis C are:Liver cirrhosis Liver cancerLiver cancerHepatocellular carcinoma is cancer that starts in the liver.Read Article Now Book Mark Article These complications generally occur during adulthood. When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your provider if your child has symptoms of hepatitis C. You should also contact your provider if you have hepatitis C and become pregnant. Prevention There are no vaccinations for hepatitis C. Therefore, prevention plays an important role in managing the disease.In a household where someone with hepatitis C is living, take these steps to help prevent the spread of the disease:Prevent the spread of the diseaseHepatitis B and hepatitis C infections cause irritation (inflammation) and swelling of the liver. You should take steps to prevent catching or sprea...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Avoid contact with blood. Clean any blood spills using bleach and water. Mothers with HCV should not breastfeed if nipples are cracked and bleeding. Cover cuts and sores to avoid contact with body fluids. Do not share toothbrushes, razors, or any other items that may be infected.Open ReferencesReferencesJensen MK, Balistreri WF. Viral hepatitis. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 385.Jhaveri R, El-Kamary SS. Hepatitis C virus. In: Cherry JD, Harrison GJ, Kaplan SL, Steinbach WJ, Hotez PJ, eds. Feigin and Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 177.Naggie S, Wyles DL. Hepatitis C. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 154.Ward JW, Holtzman D. Epidemiology, natural history, and diagnosis of hepatitis C. In: Sanyal AJ, Boyer TD, Lindor KD, Terrault NA, eds. Zakim and Boyer's Hepatology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 29.AllVideoImagesTogSelf Care Preventing hepatitis APreventing hepatitis B or C Tests for Hepatitis C - children Hepatitis virus panelRelated Information Review Date: 2/24/2022 Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. 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