Kids & Hepatitis | World Hepatitis Day 2022
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Kids & Hepatitis
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Kids &
Hepatitis

Learn more and win a stay at the Oval Hotel!

Introduction

Kids & Hepatitis

Children can get hepatitis and sometimes it can be fatal. How do the different hepatitis viruses affect children? If children get hepatitis, can they be treated? How do we protect them against hepatitis?

Find out and win

Bonus Entry

Find out more about each topic by clicking on More info. Answer the bonus question in the quiz to receive an automatic additional entry into the draw!

Competition Dates

Entries close: 31 August 2022, 11:59 PM
Prize drawn: 1 September 2022

The Facts

Mystery Hepatitis

Mystery Hepatitis

  • There is a current outbreak of hepatitis in children in 35 countries.
  • Over 1000 children have been infected.
  • 22 children have died in this outbreak and some needed liver transplants.
  • The virus causing this hepatitis outbreak is not A, B, C, D, or E – it has not been identified.

The outbreak of a mystery hepatitis in youngsters was first detected on 5 April 2022. Cases were found in the UK, Europe and the USA. A World Health Organisation (WHO) update on 13 July reported there is now more than 1,010 probable cases of this unexplained severe acute hepatitis, or liver inflammation.

So far, 22 children have died and some required life-saving liver transplants. Almost half of the probable cases have been reported in Europe, and close to one-third in the Americas. According to the WHO, case numbers may be higher due to limited surveillance in some regions.

The most commonly reported symptoms were nausea or vomiting, jaundice, general weakness and abdominal pain.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) said in May that no cases had been identified in Australia. Parents are advised to consult their doctors if they have any concerns.

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Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C

  • Hepatitis C is rare in Australian children.
  • In rare cases, a person with hepatitis C may pass it to their baby during pregnancy or birth.
  • It is safe for people with hepatitis C to breast-feed their babies.
  • Children may get hepatitis C from sharing personal items such as toothbrushes with someone who has hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C – inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus – is transmitted only from blood to bloodstream contact. In Australia, hepatitis C in children is rare.

A pregnant person with hepatitis C may pass the virus to their infants via the placenta during gestation, or via blood-to-blood contact during birth, but it is uncommon, occurring only in 5 out of 100 cases.

A person with hepatitis C may safely breast-feed their infants so long as their nipples are not cracked or bleeding.

Children may get hepatitis C through sharing personal items such as toothbrushes or clippers with a person who has hepatitis C. Any item that may get blood on it can be a risk.

There is no vaccination to protect people against hepatitis C.

New highly effective hepatitis C treatments are safe for children over three years old. Children with hepatitis C can be prescribed the new drugs by a paediatrician experienced in treating hepatitis C.

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Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B

  • Most children with hepatitis B got it from their parent during birth.
  • 90% of children who contract hepatitis B will live with the virus long-term.
  • It is safe for people with hepatitis B to breast-feed their babies.
  • There is a vaccine that will protect children against hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B is inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis b virus. Most children who have hepatitis B got it during the birthing process.

In Australia all newborns are offered hepatitis B vaccinations. The first of four free vaccination shots is usually given within a week of birth, preferably within the first 24 hours. The rest are given at 2, 4 and 6 months, often in combination with other vaccinations. If a pregnant person has hepatitis B, the baby will receive an injection of antibodies within 12 hours of birth. This is in addition to the routine vaccine shots and will significantly reduce the chance of transmission to the newborn baby.

People with hepatitis B can safely breastfeed their infants unless their nipples are cracked or bleeding.

Hepatitis B is spread by blood to blood contact and sexual fluids. Children who are not vaccinated may become infected through sharing personal items with someone who has hepatitis B, such as toothbrushes, clippers and any item which may get blood on it. They can also get it through blood exposure during play or fighting with other children.

Some people living with hepatitis B will need to take medication. This is mostly given to adults. Children are not usually treated however if there is a medical need to treat children, either a course of injections or oral medication may be given under the supervision of your child’s specialist.

Children with hepatitis B usually don't need treatment, but they do need regular monitoring every 6 to 12 months depending on medical advice.

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Hep C virus and question mark

Hepatitis A

  • Hepatitis A is spread via food or water contaminated with the faeces of an infected person.
  • Most children with hepatitis A don't have many symptoms.
  • Hepatitis A symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and jaundice.
  • There is a vaccine to protect children against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is liver inflammation caused by the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A is found in the faeces of people with the infection. It is transmitted when children, or adults, come into contact with contaminated objects, food or water. Hepatitis A is not common in Australia.

Hepatitis A has a long incubation and symptoms usually don't appear until four weeks after initial infection. Symptoms include tiredness, fever, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and jaundice. Many children with hepatitis A, especially young children, don't have many symptoms. This means it is easy for the virus to transmit between children.

Children with hepatitis A will recover. Recovery time varies from weeks up to months with some taking as long as six months for full recovery. There is no cure for hepatitis A but people who had hepatitis A before will develop immunity to the virus.

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The Quiz

Choose the correct answer to each question!

Choose the correct answer to each question and enter the draw for a $500 voucher to use at the Oval Hotel in Adelaide. Answer the bonus question correctly and automatically gain a second entry into the draw.

Question 1

There was an outbreak of hepatitis in children in numerous countries in early 2022, resulting in deaths and liver transplants. Which hepatitis is it?

Question 2

Most people living with which hepatitis got it from their parent during birth?

Question 3

What is the best way to provide lifelong protection for children against hepatitis B?

Question 4

How do you protect children against hepatitis C? (Pick one or more)

Bonus Question (Optional)

Which of the following are true? (Pick one or more)

The Prize

The Oval Hotel is set at the iconic Adelaide Oval, surrounded by stunning parklands and just minutes from the Adelaide city centre.

The winner of the prize draw will receive a $500 voucher for use at the Oval Hotel.

The vouchers are valid till 17 June 2025.

Contact

For more information on viral hepatitis, call Hepatitis SA on 1800 437 222 or chat with us at hepsa.asn.au.

Should I get tested for hepatitis C? Find out here.

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Hepatitis SA acknowledges and respects the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the unceded ancestral land from which we work. We pay our respects to elders past and present.