Pediatric Hepatitis C

Pediatric Hepatitis C

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What is hepatitis C?

Pediatric hepatitis C a virus that causes a child’s liver tissue to swell and become inflamed. It is passed by coming into contact with the blood of an infected person.

How common is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is the least common type of hepatitis found in children. There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C.

What is hepatitis C caused by?

Hepatitis C is caused by coming into contact with the blood of an infected person via:

  • Blood-to-blood contact
  • Mother-to-child via birth
  • Blood transfusions
  • Sharing or being stuck by needles
  • Unprotected sex
  • Sharing toothbrushes and nail clippers

What are the types of hepatitis C?

  • Acute (sudden) – Children with acute hepatitis C can typically fight off the virus without lasting health problems. If the child doesn’t clear the virus after six months, it becomes chronic.
  • Chronic (ongoing)– Children with chronic hepatitis C have an active infection that they have not cleared after six months and often do not show symptoms. Hepatitis C can cause advanced liver damage throughout the child’s life.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis C?

Children with hepatitis C can develop symptoms four to 12 weeks after they are infected with the virus. Symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Pain above liver (upper right abdomen)
  • Pale colored stools
  • Urine that is dark in color

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