Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that strikes children and babies. There are three common types of hepatitis – Hepatitis A, B, and C. In some cases, hepatitis D and E can also be found.
Hepatitis is usually caused by a virus. In some cases, Epstein Barr virus can also cause hepatitis. Other possible causes include parasites, medications, bacteria and inherited disorders.
Symptoms Of Hepatitis In Babies:
The symptom of hepatitis varies according to its type. The most common symptom of hepatitis in babies is abdominal pain. Vomiting, paleness, and diarrhea are other common symptoms.
Hepatitis A, also called infectious hepatitis, is the most common form of hepatitis in babies. It is caused by hepatitis A virus that is usually found in the stool of the infected people. This form of virus is transmitted through fecal-oral contamination. It can also be transmitted through contaminated food or water. Most babies infected with the virus may show no signs of symptoms at all. However, some common symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark colored urine, and vomiting. The symptoms usually last from two weeks to two months.
Vaccination is the best way for preventing hepatitis A. The vaccine can protect the child for about 20 years. It is usually given to kids aged between 12 to 23 months.
If you think that the baby has been exposed to hepatitis A, then get him an injection of immune globulin. The injection contains antibodies that fight the virus within seven days of exposure. The effect of immune globulin will last for several months.
[ Read: Allergies In Babies ]
Serum Hepatitis, commonly known as Hepatitis B, is caused by the hepatitis B virus. It can be transmitted through contact with blood or any other body fluid. Babies get this virus by being exposed to the virus in the mother’s blood and vaginal fluids during the childbirth. Hepatitis B baby tend to develop chronic infection.
Most of the babies show no signs of hepatitis B, but some hepatitis b symptoms in babies include vomiting, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and jaundice. If the mother had hepatitis B while giving the birth, then the baby should be given both hepatitis B vaccine and immune globulin injection. The child should again be tested when he is about 8 to 15 months to make sure that the vaccination was effective.
Just like hepatitis A, hepatitis B in babies can also be prevented by immunization. The immunization shot will protect the child for about 15 years. Babies should be given the first shot of hepatitis B vaccination between birth and two months, the second shot between 1 and four months and the third shot between 6 and 18 months. If the mother is infected with hepatitis B during pregnancy, then the first shot of vaccination should be given within 12 hours of birth along with an immune globulin injection.
Hepatitis C is transmitted through direct contact with infected person’s human blood and other bodily fluids. This type of hepatitis is more common in adults than kids. A baby can also get hepatitis C from his infected mother. The symptoms of hepatitis C are very similar to those of hepatitis A and C.
Hepatitis C in babies can be hard to diagnose, and there is no vaccination for it. Infection with hepatitis C can lead to chronic liver diseases. It can also lead to liver cancer is some cases.
[ Read: Baby Health Care Tips ]
Since hepatitis affects the liver, a blood test to check the liver enzymes can help in the diagnosis. The blood test will confirm the presence of hepatitis A, B and C. Liver function test will determine how well the liver is working. In some cases, a liver biopsy is done to check the organ damage. The biopsy helps the doctor choose the best treatment.
Wash your hands diligently with soap and water after changing the diapers, using the toilet and before preparing the food. It will help prevent the spreading of the diseases. Do not forget to wash the baby’s hands too. Hope you find this article helpful.
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