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Hepatitis B and C

Tags: Children

If a baby of 17 months gets exposed to Hepatitis B and C by some means of reused vaccination syringe then when is the correct time to get a Hepatitis C antibody test and Hepatitis B for accurate results?

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The answer

Hepatitis B virus antigens are usually detectable 4 – 10 week after exposure, this is a test that detects the presence of Hepatitis B virus in the blood, however, because your baby has received the vaccination this could possibly skew or cause a false positive result. More usually a panel test of three types of antigens gives a more accurate picture of Hepatitis B status including a negative result, antibody testing is conducted alongside these panels. Testing can be performed and repeated from the fourth week onwards after suspected exposure the exact frequency and timing of testing is usually decided by the medical practitioner in charge however.

In terms of possible Hepatitis C exposure, the antigen can be detected in the blood within 1-3 weeks of this happening.  The Hepatitis C antibodies, which are produced when the body detects the presence of an antigen, in this case the Hepatitis C antigen, and conversion in the blood can be traced after 8-9 weeks from exposure.

In view of your childs’ recent immunisation status it would seem sensible to discuss your concerns with your GP they will be able to arrange any necessary tests and the schedule for doing so. I hope this has helped to clarify your query and please don’t hesitate to contact us for any further information you may require.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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