Dr Samer El-Kamary and colleagues investigated the prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in children attending an urban hospital pediatric primary care clinic in Baltimore, USA.
1034 children were tested for HCV antibodies after excluding children known to be HIV-positive.
Dr El-Kamary’s team also assessed maternal hepatitis C virus risk factors through structured interviews with a sample of mothers and a review of available medical records.
Only 1 child (0.1%) tested positive for hepatitis C virus antibodies.
| Intravenous drug use was significantly underreported.|
|Journal of Pediatrics|
History of blood transfusion was reported by 7% of mothers and intravenous drug use by 1.8%.
However, analysis of medical records revealed that intravenous drug use was significantly underreported.
Dr El-Kamary concludes. “Universal screening of children for HCV in high-risk urban communities is not warranted.”
“Self-report may not be reliable for identifying mothers with a history of intravenous drug use”