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Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases

Print version ISSN 1413-8670On-line version ISSN 1678-4391


FRANCA, Rita et al. Pediatric knowledge about acute viral hepatitis. Braz J Infect Dis [online]. 2004, vol.8, n.3, pp.361-366. ISSN 1413-8670.

Knowledge about hepatotropic viruses is crucial for pediatricians because of the high prevalence of viral hepatitis during childhood. The multiplicity of hepatotropic viruses, the spectrum of acute and chronic infections, and the sequels of viral hepatitis result in a need for physicians to better understand the clinical and epidemiological context of patients with viral hepatitis, as well as the importance of prevention measures for hepatitis. A descriptive cross-sectional study was made of pediatrician's knowledge about viral hepatitis, through questionnaires to 574 pediatricians, with no obligation of identification. The pediatricians were recruited among those who attended a national Congress of Pediatrics in Brasília, Brazil. Among these pediatricians, 50.1% frequently treated cases of hepatitis, and 74.7% indicated that they had knowledge of the existence of five hepatotropic viruses; 14.5% knew about at least four types of hepatitis complications, while only 7.7% and 4.3% were able to correctly diagnose viral hepatitis A and B, respectively. Many (28.4%) did not know how to treat the patients adequately. Only 37.5% had already recommended vaccination against hepatitis B. Only 50.2% of the pediatricians had been vaccinated against hepatitis B. We concluded that it is crucial to make pediatricians more knowledgeable about viral hepatitis, through continued education programs, especially emphasizing prevention procedures.

Keywords : Hepatitis; pediatrics.

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