The hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in most children remain asymptomatic, but have the potential to progress to chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Vertical transmission is a unique feature seen with both these viruses and plays an important role in the natural history and management. Since prevention is better than cure, every effort should be made to prevent these diseases as significant transmission occurs during the perinatal period. Therefore, it is very essential that all pediatricians/gastroenterologists treating children with HBV and HCV infections be aware of the details relating to the viruses before considering therapy.
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