Digestive and Gastrointestinal Conditions

Viral Hepatitis Treatment

Viral Hepatitis Prevention

In most cases, viral hepatitis can be prevented.

With hepatitis A, the best way to prevent spreading it is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water, especially prior to handling food. If traveling to countries outside the United States, having the hepatitis A vaccination is strongly recommended.

With hepatitis B, the vast majority (approximately 90% to 95%) of cases can be avoided by receiving the hepatitis B vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that your child get 3 doses of the hepatitis B vaccine starting at birth.

With hepatitis C, the best way to prevent it is to avoid exposure to the blood or bodily fluids (breast milk, saliva, semen or vaginal fluids) of an infected person. There is currently no hepatitis C vaccine available, although one is in clinical trials.

Viral Hepatitis Treatment

How is viral hepatitis treated?

Viral hepatitis is treated in different ways depending on whether your child has hepatitis A, B or C.

Hepatitis A treatment

Hepatitis A is a short-term virus typically lasting several weeks to months. For most children, hepatitis A goes away on its own and does not require treatment. Your child’s doctor may encourage your child to rest, drink plenty of liquids and eat healthy foods.

Once your child has had hepatitis A, they are usually immune to the illness and cannot get it again. However, your child could still get other forms of viral hepatitis, such as hepatitis B and C.

Hepatitis B and C treatment

  • If your child has chronic hepatitis B or C, they may need to be treated with antiviral medicines. Your child’s doctor and care providers will perform tests to learn if your child should be treated. Seattle Children’s offers treatments and therapies not offered elsewhere. Learn more.
  • Depending on the type of viral hepatitis your child has, their doctor will tell you if your child needs follow-up care after treatment is finished.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with Seattle Children’s Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department, start by asking your child’s primary care doctor for a referral. If you have a referral, call 206-987-2521 to schedule your child’s appointment.