Saturday, February 22, 2020
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Infants Often Not Tested for Virus

Over the past few years, hepatitis C virus rates among pregnant women, likely a consequence of the country’s opioid crisis, have grown substantially.

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‘”Many children were being missed or not adequately tested according to the medical guidelines,”’

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“The increase has largely gone unnoticed,” said lead investigator Susan Lopata, MD, assistant professor of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital. “Given that the most common mode of transmission in the pediatric population is vertical transmission — from mom to baby during pregnancy or during delivery — the rising rates of hepatitis C among pregnant women signifies an emerging public health threat to children.”

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The findings, published in Pediatrics, are a result of a retrospective, cohort study that looked at infants enrolled in the Tennessee Medicaid program. Using data from birth certificates and hospital/doctor billing, investigators reviewed information from more than 4,000 subjects who were exposed to the virus during a 10-year period.

The results were disheartening.

“We wanted to see if children were being adequately tested per national guidelines and to see if there were factors associated with the differences in testing Read More

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