Hepatitis in Babies: Causes, Symptoms, and Ways to Prevent Transmission

Hepatitis in Babies: Causes, Symptoms, and Ways to Prevent Transmission

donutmedialab.com — It doesn’t only attack adults, it turns out that hepatitis in babies also exists, lo. Hepatitis in infants is an infection or inflammation of the liver that targets infants and children.

About 20% of cases of hepatitis in infants occur before birth or are inherited from the mother’s disease and after the baby is born. It is suspected that the baby was born infected with a virus that causes inflammation of the liver.

Even so, some types of hepatitis are classified as mild, but other types can make a chronic liver condition and can be fatal.

What causes hepatitis in infants?

Hepatitis is caused by several viruses (hepatitis virus), drugs, liver fluke infection, certain genetic disorders or by an overactive immune system that mistakenly attacks the liver, which is called autoimmune hepatitis.

Meanwhile, hepatitis in infants can be caused by many things. There are two types of hepatitis that can affect infants and children, namely hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

Launching from the Stanford Children’s Health website, there are several viruses that cause hepatitis in infants and children to watch out for, including:

  • viral hepatitis. There are 5 main types of hepatitis viruses, including hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E viruses.
  • Cytomegalovirus. This virus is part of the herpes virus family.
  • Epstein-Barr virus.
  • Herpes simplex virus.
  • Varicella zoster virus (chickenpox). Complications of this virus is hepatitis. But this is very rare in children.
  • Enteroviruses. This is a group of viruses that are often seen in children. They include coxsackie viruses and echoviruses.
  • Rubella.
  • Adenovirus.
  • parvovirus.
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Symptoms of hepatitis in babies

Hepatitis in Babies: Causes, Symptoms, and Ways to Prevent Transmission

These symptoms may occur differently in each child. In some cases, there are children who are infected with hepatitis but do not have any symptoms.

Here are some of the symptoms to watch out for.

  • Flu-like symptoms.
  • Yellowing of the skin or jaundice.
  • Fever.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Feeling unwell.
  • Stomach pain or abdominal discomfort.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Joint pain.
  • Sick muscles.
  • Itching of the skin.
  • Dark urine.

As a parent, be sure to immediately consult a doctor if your child notices these symptoms. The goal is to get the right treatment.

What effect does hepatitis have on the baby if the mother is infected during pregnancy?

Babies in the womb are generally not affected by the mother’s viral hepatitis during pregnancy. However, your baby can be infected at birth, if the mother is positive for the virus.

Usually, the disease is passed on to the child who is exposed to the mother’s blood and vaginal fluids during childbirth. This can happen in a normal delivery as well as a cesarean section.

Hepatitis virus infection can have a severe impact on the baby.

There may be certain increased risks during delivery, such as premature birth, low birth weight (LBW) babies, or abnormalities in the anatomy and function of the baby’s body. It could threaten their lives.

If a child is infected with viral hepatitis in infancy and is not vaccinated as soon as possible, most cases will progress to chronic disease.

This chronic hepatitis can have a negative impact on children’s health later in life, namely in the form of liver damage (cirrhosis) and sometimes liver cancer (especially if accompanied by hepatitis C virus infection).

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He can also pass the infection on to family members and other people in the future.

How to prevent transmission of hepatitis to babies

Hepatitis in Babies: Causes, Symptoms, and Ways to Prevent Transmission

To prevent hepatitis in infants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all infants receive the vaccine, regardless of condition.

If the baby is born to a hepatitis positive mother, HBIG immunoglobulin will also be given within the first 12 hours of birth as additional “ammunition” to prevent hepatitis in the baby.

If it cannot be given at that time, the vaccine must be given within 2 months of birth. The remaining doses are administered in the next 6-18 months.

Babies who are given the vaccine as well as HBIG have a more than 90% chance of being protected from hepatitis infection in their lifetime.

If your newborn does not receive a dose of HBIG in the first 12 hours after birth, you should ensure that he will receive it at one month old.

The third dose of vaccine should be received by your baby at six months of age to ensure full protection.

He or she will also be offered a booster dose with preschool vaccinations at around 3 years and 4 months of age. All three HBV injections are required for lifelong protection.

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