Occurrence of Hepatitis C in children is fairly uncommon in the
United States.According to the data collected from CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention),about 0.17 percent of 6-11 year olds and 0.39 percent of 12-19 year olds are testing positive for HCV. On an average, 23,000-46,000 children are affected.
The commonest way of transmission in children is from HCV-positive mothers, during pregnancy or delivery. This is termed as vertical transmission and constitutes 6 percent of infants with HCV positive mothers.
Adolescents acquire this virus through drug use and their numbers are increasing at an alarming rate in the U.S.
Usually, progression of HCV is not so fast and acute in children as compared to the adults. Still, significant fibrosis and cirrhosis resulting in an increased risk of liver-related deaths is a definite possibility. Paediatric liver transplant and liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) is extremely rare in HCV-positive children.