canpanita asks:

what is hepatitis?

In Topics: Physical Health
> 60 days ago



Sep 29, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

"Hepatitis" refers to any type of liver inflammation.  Most commonly hepatitis is caused by an infection, typically a virus, which is often mild and undetected.  Occasionally it can be severe, even leading to liver failure and death.  Hepatitis A and B, caused by the Hepatitis A and B virus respectively, can be prevented by immunization, so everyone should have these vaccines.  Babies now are routinely given these vaccines.  No vaccine is available for Hepatitic C, so care not to be exposed (from needles, other infected persons, etc) is important.  The links below go to American Academy of Pediatrics web sites that discuss these in more detail.  Anyone with suspected hepatitis (because their skin or eyes become yellow ['jaundice'], urine becomes dark, or they have a severe illness maybe with some right upper abdominal pain should be evaluated for this problem.  Other causes, including mono and other infections, toxic substances (including mushrooms, medications like acetaminophen, or other routine medicines), inherited problems, pancreatitis, or gallstones should be considered by your child's pediatrician, and in unusual situations requires referral to a gastroenterologist (specialist in liver problems).
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