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Hepatitis A


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Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by Hepatitis A virus, which is mostly contracted from unhygienic conditions, faeces and blood. It’s a serious health complication capable of causing swelling and irritation in the liver.


Symptoms of hepatitis A

The symptoms are not evident immediately after the infection. They show up after 2-6 weeks of exposure to the virus.

The symptoms are: 

  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Jaundice
  • Dark urine
  • Soreness in muscles
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in stomach and rib cage
  • Mild fever
  • Nausea and vomiting


Who can get hepatitis A?
  • Attend hepatitis A patients
  • Workers in hospitals, sanitation and sewage industry
  • Family with hepatitis A affected member
  • Traveller moving to rural areas, developing and underdeveloped countries
  • HIV positive people, Intravenous drug addicts


Causes of hepatitis A infection

As said before hepatitis infection is caused by the virus hepatitis A.

The virus spreads mostly through faecal contamination. A healthy individual who shares food and personal hygiene things with an infected person can get infected. 

Sexual contact with a hepatitis victim is also one of the reasons.

The virus can come from eating raw oysters and shellfish and drinking unfiltered tap water. It can also spread from diapers of babies.


Diagnosis of hepatitis A

Your doctor will definitely evaluate the symptoms and jaundice is one of the telltale signs of hepatitis A infection. Furthermore, your doctor would also about your daily activities, hygiene and food habits. 

Furthermore, you need to undergo blood test to confirm presence of hepatitis A. The analysis is done for presence of Anti-HAV IgM antibodies in serum.

Ultrasonography and biopsy of the liver may also be done to check its functions and any other problems.


Treatment of hepatitis A

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A virus as your body gets rids of it spontaneously.

However, your doctor will suggest you several health care strategies to help you in quick recovery and you must follow them

Take rest: You need break from office. Rest yourself enough to get over tiredness. Do not exercise

Medicines: You doctor might consider changing the dose of pre existing medicines. OTC pain killers may be advised to cope with body pain

Eating: A drastic change would be advised in this regard. You will be completely restricted from eating outside foods, unhealthy varieties, alcohol or any other varieties that would be tough for your digestive system and liver.

You need to have plain home cooked foods for a certain period. Wash fruits and vegetables properly before consuming. Get a complete list of foods that you can and cannot eat from your doctor.

Hygiene and Cleanliness: Wash your hands with antiseptic before eating and do it frequently. Stay away from sick people for some time. Also avoid intimacy and sexual contact until you the infection has healed. 


Can hepatitis be prevented?

Hepatitis A infection can be prevented. It is mandatory for all (children, teenagers and adults) to get Hepatitis A vaccine. Check with your doctor about vaccinating yourself.

Apart from that, you need to be extra careful while travelling. This includes eating, drinking, using washrooms, and every other sources of hepatitis A virus. 

Hepatitis A is the least serious form of all hepatitis infections. Thus, you can completely heal yourself in a short time once you listen to your doctor’s advice and take care in the proper manner.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: March 04, 2014

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