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Egypt has the largest burden of HCV infection in the world, with a 10% prevalence of chronic HCV infection among persons aged 15–59 years. The peak of HCV prevalence in the 40-54 year age group corresponds to the aging of the cohort of children infected through PAT in the 1960s- 70s. However, lower rates have been reported in children younger than 10 years (1.8% to 10%)
Thus, most of the HCV-related disease burden in developed countries has resulted from injection drug use, receipt of transfusions before donor screening, and high-risk sexual activity. In contrast, most of the disease burden in developing countries is related to receipt of unsafe therapeutic injections and contaminated blood, razors and syringes.
A case control study to 500 children 250 of them has HCV infection and the others have no HCV infection.
After obtaining written consent from the parents, questionnaire data and blood samples were collected from selected children. A close-ended questionnaires applied by trained interviewer. Blood samples were drawn by trained nurse during the risk factor questionnaire interview for controls children only and not for the cases already diagnosed as having chronic HCV by PCR in Alexandria University Children Hospital (AUCH).All sample tubes and questionnaire sheets were labeled with a sticker with serial sample identification numbers. Blood samples were transported in the same day for centrifugation and freezing of serum at the Alexandria university child hospital laboratory.
Health education was performed in the same setting which included the following (the dangerous of HCV infection and hazards’ of risk factors and how they avoiding infection with HCV among the family and importance of follow up and treatment in the liver clinic.).
A total number included 500 patients (250 cases 142 male and 108 female and 250controls 111 male and139 female) were invited to participate in this study. A good response rate was achieved.
Male children (50.6 %) are nearly equal to female children (49.4%). Almost one-third of children are aged 6 years and below, one quarter are aged 7-9 years, 17.6% are aged 10-11, and one-quarter are aged 12 years and above. The percentage of rural children is more than from urban areas (59.6% versus 40% respectively).
Logistic analysis showed that there was an increasing risk for infection by age, with the oldest age group more than 7 years having the highest risk. Urban residence was protective against HCV infection. Having a father who was a professional or employee was associated with reduced risk. Previous hospitalization was associated with a higher risk of infection. Circumcision by an informal health worker was associated with an even greater risk for HCV infection.