Jaundice is not a disease by itself. It is a symptom of many diseases related to liver and blood.
Commonest cause of jaundice is viral infection of liver. There are many viruses which can affect liver. Common infections are those caused by Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E viruses. These are transmitted by feco-oral route through contaminated food and water. Hepatitis B, C & D. Viruses are transmitted by contaminated blood, needles, sexual route and from mother to fetus in utero. A & E are mild infections but B,C,D are serious infections.
Whenever your child develops yellowish discoloration of eyes, please consult your doctor. Your doctor will assess signs and symptoms of liver disease and do some investigations. After thorough work up, if there are no danger signs, it is likely to be mild infection. If the jaundice is due to blood disorders, management is different and your doctor will advice you.
Symptoms of A & E infection :
Fever, vomiting, pain over right upper part of stomach. Once fever subsides, patient will develop jaundice and passes yellow urine continuously. There is severe loss of appettite. Gradually jaundice will increase.
Treatment : There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E. These are self limiting infections. Child should take rest for 7-10 days and your doctor will give you some medications for vomiting and other supportive medications.
Diet : Appetite will be very less and improve gradually. Diet is very important part of management. Avoid non vegetarian and fatty food for 15-20 days completely. Give less pulses. All forms of cereals, fruits and vegetables can be given liberally.
Protection of other family members :
As Hepatitis A and E are transmitted by feco-oral route through contaminated food and water, take all hygienic measures like washing hands with soap, hygienic preparation and storage of food and drinking water.
Prevention : There are effective and safe vaccines to prevent Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. Please ensure that all family members are protected against these two viruses by taking vaccination. Hepatitis B can be taken by anybody from birth and hepatitis A from 1 year of age. There is no upper age limit.
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