Transmission from mother to baby is the leading route of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in children. The Academy recommends early identification and testing of all infants born to HCV-infected mothers.

HCV-infected children should be referred to a hepatitis specialist for evaluation, clinical monitoring and consideration for antiviral treatment, which now is approved for children as young as 3 years of age.

About 3.2 million people in the United States are believed to be infected with HCV, the majority of whom are asymptomatic and unaware of their infection.

Pediatricians should be vigilant about testing for hepatitis C virus in all infants born to HCV-infected mothers and encourage those mothers to seek treatment.

Close to 80% of infected adults develop chronic HCV infection. Disease course usually is silent and indolent; 10%-20% of patients with chronic HCV infection will develop cirrhosis, and approximately 5% develop liver cancer. HCV is the leading underlying...

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