Hepatitis facts for kids
Hepatitis is a disease of the liver. In hepatitis, the liver is inflamed. There can be several reasons why the liver is inflamed. For this reason there are several kinds of hepatitis. The most common forms are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Most cases of Hepatitis are caused by viruses. Some forms are caused by bacteria, fungi or parasites.
Hepatitis A can be spread through personal contact, eating raw seafood, or drinking water with the hepatitis A virus in it. This happens mostly in third world countries. Strict personal hygiene and avoiding raw and unpeeled foods can help prevent an infection.
Once a person has hepatitis A, their immune system makes antibodies to fight the virus. This will make them immune against future infection.
There is a vaccine for hepatitis A. It will protect against hepatitis A for life.
Hepatitis B is not spread by food or casual contact. Instead, hepatitis B is spread by blood or body fluids from an infected person. There is a vaccine that can prevent hepatitis B. There is no cure for hepatitis B, but there is treatment.
Hepatitis C is not spread by food or casual contact. It is spread in ways that are similar to hepatitis B. There is no vaccine.