What Are the Symptoms of Hepatitis A?

Most children with hepatitis A are asymptomatic. When symptoms do occur, they begin about two to six weeks after the child becomes infected with the virus.

 

The most common symptoms of hepatitis A in children are flu-like and can include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Pale stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)

 

Hepatitis A does not become a chronic illness. However, in rare cases, children with this condition can develop liver damage or liver cirrhosis. Call your pediatric gastroenterologist if your child has swelling in their arms, hands, feet, stomach or face. Also call if you see blood in your child’s stools.

 

What Are the Symptoms of Hepatitis B?

 

Most children with hepatitis B don’t have symptoms, especially if they are younger than 5 years of age. Older children may have any of the following symptoms:

 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Jaundice­ (yellowed skin and eyes)
  • Dark urine
  • Nausea and vomiting

 

Children with these symptoms should see a pediatric gastroenterologist to check for hepatitis B. While this illness is often acute and goes away on its own in a few weeks to six months, it can sometimes become chronic, or long-term. This is more common among children who get hepatitis B as newborns or as young children. Chronic hepatitis B needs to be treated in order to prevent liver damage in adulthood, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.

 

What Are the Symptoms of Hepatitis C?

 

Most children with hepatitis C don’t have symptoms early in the illness. With acute hepatitis C, the child’s body fights off the infection, and it resolves in a few weeks to six months. If hepatitis C becomes chronic, it can lead to liver disease later in life.

 

Symptoms of hepatitis C include:

 

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellowed skin and eyes)
  • Pale stools