Hepatitis in children

Hepatitis in children

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Hepatitis in children it is an inflammation of the liver. It is caused by viruses, but also by other factors such as bacteria, drugs, and toxic agents. Of all viral hepatitis, the most common is hepatitis A, although there are also type B, C, D, E and G viruses. Their initial clinical manifestations can be very similar, but the evolution varies depending on the virus that causes the disease. .

To prevent children from contracting viral hepatitis it is necessary to maintain good hygiene habits and avoid overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, be especially careful when traveling to areas where sanitary conditions are poor and the quality of the water is suspect, especially when drink or swim, avoid eating seafood or fish from sewage contaminated water, wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before meals and if a member of your family contracts hepatitis, use disinfectants to clean the toilets, sinks, urinals, or wedges used by that person.

In children, the most common form of hepatitis is hepatitis A (also called infectious hepatitis). This type of hepatitis is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV), which is found in the feces of infected people. Infected feces can be present in small amounts on food and objects (from a door handle to a baby's diapers).

Symptoms. Hepatitis A in children presents initially with nausea, vomiting, malaise, and fever. Abdominal pain, dark urine color, whitish stools, jaundice (yellow color) may also appear in both the conjunctiva and the oral mucosa. General malaise decreases with jaundice.

Contagion. Hepatitis A is spread by the fecal-oral route, that is, through contaminated food and water. Through contaminated water, milk and food, especially shellfish

Diagnosis. Some laboratory tests such as liver function tests (bilirubins and transaminases), clotting times, and glucose can detect it.

Treatment. There is no specific treatment, but all kinds of medications should be avoided, especially pain relievers and fever control. Fats and irritants should be avoided to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms.

Prevention. The easiest way to prevent hepatitis A in children is through childhood vaccination. The hepatitis A vaccine is recommended at 2 years of age. There is also a combined hepatitis A and B vaccine that can be administered without major complications in adulthood when there was a vaccine in childhood.

To avoid contagion in the case of hepatitis A, care should be taken with personal hygiene, hand washing and when preparing food. Avoid contact with any item potentially contaminated with fecal matter. The prognosis is generally very good, 95 percent of hepatitis A patients recover without any sequelae.

Hepatitis B (also called serum hepatitis) is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Symptoms. HBV can cause a wide range of symptoms, from general malaise to chronic liver disease, which can eventually lead to liver cancer.

Contagion. Through infected body fluids, such as blood, saliva, semen, vaginal secretions, tears, and urine. And also through contaminated blood transfusions, by sharing infected needles or syringes, by having sex with a person infected with HBV or by transmitting a newborn from its infected mother.

The hepatitis B virus can be transmitted to babies by a member of the family. Most commonly, it occurs as a subclinical infection, when a family member or other adult carrier of the virus has frequent contact with the child. The infection may occur in a non-obvious way (for example, if the adult has a small cut on the hand and the child has chapped skin from eczema).

Prevention. The hepatitis B vaccine is included in the national vaccination card of many countries, it is the Pentavalent vaccine, which is applied at 2,4, and 6 months, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving the child the Hepatitis B vaccine newborn, one month and 6 months old.

The prognosis for hepatitis B is good, and complications such as chronic, fulminant hepatitis, or cirrhosis are found in approximately 10 percent of patients.

Cases of hepatitis C are rarer and less numerous in children.

Contagion. Hepatitis C is spread through direct contact with the blood of an infected person.

Symptoms. The symptoms caused by the hepatitis C virus can be very similar to those caused by the hepatitis A and B viruses. However, infection with the hepatitis C virus can lead to illness in the long run. chronic liver disease and is the main reason for liver transplantation.

Contagion. Sharing needles and syringes, getting tattoos, or piercings with non-sterile instruments, through blood transfusions, through the contagion of a newborn by its infected mother and through sexual intercourse (although it is a less common route of transmission).

Hepatitis C is also a common risk in dialysis centers. Rarely, people living with someone with hepatitis C can get it from sharing items that may contain the patient's blood, such as razors or toothbrushes.

Diagnosis.All of these viral forms of hepatitis can be diagnosed and their treatment can be followed by reliable and easily accessible blood tests.

You can read more articles similar to Hepatitis in children, in the category of Childhood Diseases on site.

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