Common Types of Hepatitis in Children and How to Prevent Them
Did you know that Hepatitis is of significant public concern worldwide? To spread awareness about Hepatitis, we observe World Hepatitis Day on 28th of July. Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver. The liver is a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters blood and flights infection. Hence, hepatitis may seriously disturb bodily functions and must be prevented. There are vaccinations available to prevent viral hepatitis.
Is Hepatitis Contagious?
Hepatitis may lead to liver cell damage, permanent liver failure, and even death in extreme cases. The illness is often caused by viruses. Hepatitis in children is a serious concern as it is highly contagious. In many cases, people act as a carrier of hepatitis but do not experience any symptoms, which makes it an endangering situation for children.
What Causes Hepatitis in Children? There are several causes of hepatitis in children. Some of the major viruses associated with causing hepatitis are Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E virus strains.
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis in Children?
The symptoms of Hepatitis can differ from child to child; in a few cases, the child may not experience any symptoms at all, while the commonly observed signs of Hepatitis are:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Dark-coloured urine
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Decreased appetite
- Vomiting and Diarrhoea
Since the symptoms mentioned above may seem like other infections’ signs, parents need to ensure their child gets a diagnosis as early as they detect any of these symptoms on them. Please consult your doctor for any further information.
What are the Common Types of Hepatitis in Children, and How Can They Be Prevented?
Children are prone to exposure to Hepatitis-causing viruses. Out of 5 types of hepatitis, type A and type B are vaccine-preventable.
Hepatitis A virus
Hepatitis B virus
Route of Transmission
Faecal-Oral route via contact with the objects, food or drinks of the infected individual
Infected individual’s blood, semen or other body fluid enter the bloodstream of non-infected
Duration of disease
Few weeks to several months
Mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, life-long chronic condition
Seriousness of disease
Children can recover with no long-lasting liver damage
15-25% develop chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis or liver cancer
It is a vaccine-preventable disease. Commonly Infants aged 12-23 months, international travellers, patients with chronic liver disease, young children previously not vaccinated should consult their doctor for vaccination.
All infants are administered the vaccine as a part of routine immunization in a 4-dose schedule, with the first dose within 24 hours of birth.
The liver is one of the most vital organs in the body, and it is essential to take care of it to lead a healthy life. Similarly, getting a vaccination, maintaining good hygiene practices, sanitation facilities, consumption of hot food, clean treated water, and frequent hand washing can help prevent Hepatitis and secure your child’s future. To learn more about Hepatitis, click here.
Please consult your doctor for more information.
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Disclaimer: Issued in public interest by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India.
Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only. Nothing contained in this material constitutes medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical queries, any question or concern you may have regarding your condition. The disease list indicated for vaccination is not complete, please consult your doctor for the complete vaccination schedule.
NP-IN-HAV-OGM-220002, DoP Oct 2022