What Is Hepatitis A?


Hepatitis A is a viral disease which is highly contagious and results in liver infections. Some people suffering from the disease have mild symptoms during the initial weeks, which transforms into a severe illness lasting over weeks or months. Hepatitis A usually occurs due to some foods or drinks that are already exposed to the virus through the poop of an infectious person. Unlike other Hepatitis types, Hepatitis A is not that dangerous, and most of the patients recover through this disease.

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Now let’s dive in to find out the symptoms of Hepatitis A:

The symptoms of hepatitis A other than liver inflammation include jaundice where you experience yellowish discolouration of the eyes, skin and dark urine. You experience stomach pain, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and fatigue. Hepatitis A is highly contagious during the first two weeks of the disease before the symptoms.

The causes of Hepatitis A include the foods and drinks which are contaminated with viral infections through someone’s stools. The transmission of Hepatitis A occurs when you eat vegetables, fruits or others which are handled by the contaminated person. Eating raw fish from water that has such infections can also transmit the disease or swallowing the contaminated ice can also result in Hepatitis A.

The risk factors of having Hepatitis A include living or having sex with the infected person, travelling to countries which are typical for transmission of Hepatitis A. Individuals who are more prone to Hepatitis A include men having sex with men, individuals injecting illegal drugs, or children staying at daycare along with the teachers.

The diagnosis of Hepatitis A includes the physical examination of the patient with the medical history. The following tests are performed for the confirmation of the disease, which includes IgM antibody test because the body starts forming these antibodies when it is exposed to this virus. These antibodies stay in the blood for around 4-6 months. Another test includes IgG antibodies; these antibodies form when the body is exposed to the virus for quite some time. These antibodies protect the person against Hepatitis A for the entire life. Once you come positive for this test and negative for IgM antibody test, it indicates that you have suffered from the viral infection in the past.

There are no such long-term effects with Hepatitis A. according to the studies; it shows that the symptoms of Hepatitis A might last longer for around 6-9 months depending on the severity. However, in rare cases, the patient might need a liver transplant or undergo liver failure.

There is no such treatment for Hepatitis A patients, but supportive therapy can help in relieving the symptoms. Liver tests are regularly performed by the doctor to evaluate liver functioning. Try taking rest as much as possible as you feel tired due to the infection. Eat snacks or small meals during the day as the disease makes you feel nauseated, avoid any alcohol intake as the liver is already inflamed due to the infection and cannot further process the medications and alcohol.

To prevent yourself from Hepatitis A, you can get yourself vaccinated, which is around 95% effective for most individuals. Vaccination is especially advised for people who are travelling to locations with higher infection chances of Hepatitis A, infants aged 9-11 months and are travelling abroad, people with clotting disorders, individuals suffering from liver disease or men having sex with men. Getting yourself vaccinated is the ultimate defence against Hepatitis A. maintain cleanliness and assure hygiene to avoid any infections.

Until Next time,

Team Doctor ASKY!


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