Childhood and Hepatitis C

Childhood and Hepatitis C

Hep C Treatment Approved for Children

Finally a cure for kids! For those youngsters with hep C, the FDA gave out good news. Two of the drugs that have been used for grown ups are now approved for kids who have the hepatitis C virus.

The direct-acting antiviral drugs reduce the viral load in the bloodstream and prevent it from multiplying. The treatment has been approved for pediatric use in children and teens between the ages of 12 and 17. Now, these kiddos have a chance to grow up without fighting all of the symptoms of hepatitis C.

Childhood and Hepatitis C

Fatigue - A viral load can lead to chronic fatigue. This prevents kids from getting involved in outdoor activities such as sports, or playground games. It can also cause them to lose valuable family time when they just are not up to joining activities. All of this can also affect their ability to take part in learning skills by partaking in household chores and yard work.

School Absence - Repeated absences due to anemia, or other symptoms creates hardship. Students can finish make up work from home, but it does not replace classroom instruction time. A doctor’s note may clear up an absence, but that can lead to other problems such as stigma.

Stigma – Many people experience shame for having Hep C. It can be painful for a children. Family members can help to educate people who will be around the child when possible. Teachers and even other youngsters may make them feel dirty. I know of one boy who was not allowed to play on the playground equipment and had to sit during recess. While the threat of spreading a blood borne virus is real, there are precautions that are easy to take. I taught school and did not know I had the virus. It is not easy to share blood with someone at school. There are laws to protect these kiddos, but once the word it out, there is no going back. The truth is that even adults choose not to disclose that they have the virus. Kids are vulnerable to rejection.

Chronic illness – Cirrhosis, anemia, low platelets, loss of appetite, and lethargy are just a few of the side effects that stem from hep C. Liver disease can lead to cirrhosis even in childhood.

Lack of Education - These can all add up to poor educational outcomes. A student who has hepatitis C may have brain fog. This makes it harder to pay attention in class. Lack of good vitamin and nutritional metabolism make it hard to think. Missing assignments or incomplete work are hard to catch up on.

By getting rid of hepatitis C, kids definitely gain an advantage. Their liver can begin to heal. This will allow all of their body and brain functions to be restored. Soon they can gain a sense of being a normal kid. Every child deserves that.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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