Management of hepatitis C in children and adolescents during COVID-19 pandemic
Maria Pokorska-Śpiewak; Mateusz Śpiewak
Published: August 2020
Journal: World Journal of Hepatology
In recent years, significant progress in the antiviral treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) has been made due to the development of interferon-free therapies. Three different highly effective, oral direct-acting antiviral (DAA) regimens have been approved for use in adolescents with CHC between the ages of 12-years-old and 17-years-old in Europe. According to the current recommendations, all treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced children with CHC virus infection should be considered for DAA therapy to prevent the possible progression of hepatitis C virus-related liver disease and its complications. However, the novel coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak, which was classified as a pandemic in March 2020, is currently spreading throughout the world, resulting in a disruption of the healthcare system. This disruption is having a negative impact on the care of patients with chronic diseases, including children with CHC. Thus, several efforts have to be made by pediatric hepatologists to prioritize patient care in children with CHC. These efforts include promoting telemedicine in the outpatient setting, using local laboratory testing for follow-up visits, and engaging in the home delivery of DAAs for patients under antiviral therapy whenever possible.