Pediatric 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.
Hepatitis C is the least common type of hepatitis found in children. There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C.
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
- 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.
Children with hepatitis C can develop symptoms four to 12 weeks after they are infected with the virus. Symptoms can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Pain above liver (upper right abdomen)
- Pale colored stools
- Urine that is dark in color