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If I have hepatitis C, does my child need to get tested for the virus?

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If you have hepatitis C, your baby’s doctor will probably recommend testing for the virus when they are 18 months old.

There are a few tests they may use:

Anti-HCV. This is the first test your child will get. It looks for antibodies to HCV, which tells you whether your child has been exposed to the virus. If the results are negative, your child does not have hep C. If they are positive, your baby will need more testing to see if they are currently infected.

HCV-RNA. Your child will get this test if the anti-HCV results were positive. It looks for the virus in your child’s blood. Positive results mean your child has an active hepatitis C infection.

Viral load test, which checks to see how much of the virus is in your child’s blood. If they’ve tested positive for HCV, doctors will use this test to see if treatment is working.

SOURCES:

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: “Hepatitis C.”

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: “Hepatitis C.”

Paediatrics Child Health: “Hepatitis C in Pregnancy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Mastitis.”

CDC: “Hepatitis B or C Infections, “Hepatitis C Questions and Answers for the Public, “What to Expect while Breastfeeding.”

Advances in experimental medicine and biology : “Mother-to-infant Hepatitis C Virus Transmission and Breastfeeding.”

Annals of Internal Medicine: “Reducing Risk for Mother-To-Infant Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus: A Systematic Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.”

New Jersey Department of Health: “Hepatitis C & Pregnant Women.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Hepatitis B and C in Pregnancy.”

Government of Western Australia Department of Health: “Hepatitis C and breastfeeding.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 29, 2020

SOURCES:

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: “Hepatitis C.”

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: “Hepatitis C.”

Paediatrics Child Health: “Hepatitis C in Pregnancy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Mastitis.”

CDC: “Hepatitis B or C Infections, “Hepatitis C Questions and Answers for the Public, “What to Expect while Breastfeeding.”

Advances in experimental medicine and biology : “Mother-to-infant Hepatitis C Virus Transmission and Breastfeeding.”

Annals of Internal Medicine: “Reducing Risk for Mother-To-Infant Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus: A Systematic Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.”

New Jersey Department of Health: “Hepatitis C & Pregnant Women.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Hepatitis B and C in Pregnancy.”

Government of Western Australia Department of Health: “Hepatitis C and breastfeeding.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 29, 2020

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