Hepatitis A: How We Treat

How does Children’s Hospital Colorado treat hepatitis A?

Most patients completely recover from hepatitis A within four to six weeks without any long-term complications. There is no medicine that directly treats hepatitis A, but in a minority of children, the infection can be very severe and result in major damage to the liver. Therefore, a liver specialist at Children’s Colorado may need to admit a child with severe hepatitis A to the hospital in order to provide supportive care for the liver. In addition, the liver specialist will accompany the patient in clinic to ensure that the liver heals.

Do doctors recommend the hepatitis A vaccine?

The hepatitis A vaccine (shot) prevents contracting the disease after exposure. The vaccine preparations available in the U.S. consist of inactivated virus and are very effective. A series of two injections is necessary to ensure one develops protection against the virus.

A booster may also be needed to keep adequate protection. Allergic reactions to the vaccine are rare, but, if present, are a reason not to continue receiving the injections. This vaccine is recommended for all children at 1 year of age. It is also recommended for anyone else who has a vaccination program available to them or is at increased risk of contracting hepatitis A. This includes individuals with any chronic liver diseases or those traveling to an area where hepatitis A is common.

Why choose Children’s Colorado for hepatitis treatment?

The Digestive Health Institute is consistently ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for treatment of digestive disorders. We are one of the only Pediatric Liver Centers in the nation that has six board-certified hepatologists (liver specialists), as well as a nationally-recognized Infectious Disease team with expertise in infectious hepatitis.