Hepatitis A is a virus that attacks the liver. It is transmitted by consuming food and drinks contaminated with the virus or through direct contact with an infected person. Symptoms of Hepatitis A include:
- Feeling tired
- Pain on the right side of the belly
- Jaundice (yellow discolouration of the skin)
- Nausea and vomiting
Diagnosis of Hepatitis A involves blood tests. Patients with Hepatitis A need close monitoring of the liver and symptomatic treatment. Most patients will make a full recovery from hepatitis A. Rarely, hepatitis A will cause severe damage leading to liver failure.
Prevention of Hepatitis A is possible by vaccination.
Hepatitis B and C
Both Hepatitis B and C are viruses that affect the liver. In children, the most common cause of Hepatitis B and C infection is by vertical transmission from mother to child. Children with Hepatitis B or C will need regular 6-12 monthly follow-up by a paediatric liver specialist to check on their liver status. Some of these patients will require treatment with medications for their hepatitis.