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Hepatitis A: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Hepatitis A is an infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV) and involves infection and inflammation of the liver. It is one of hepatitis with the most significant risk of contagion since it can be transmitted by water and various contaminated foods. This type of hepatitis is most contagious when its symptoms have not yet appeared, so the person suffering from it is unaware and cannot take action. The significant foci of infection are in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. The disease tends to be more prevalent in places with a lack of clean water, poor personal hygiene, and poor sanitation. In this article, FastlyHealwe knows the causes, symptoms, and treatments of hepatitis.

Difference from other hepatitis

Unlike other hepatitis, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis A does not have a chronic stage, which would mean that the infection would be suffered for life and, in addition, it is not fatal. It is a more benign virus than other hepatitis and usually affects mainly two sectors of the population according to age. Children usually suffer from the disease asymptomatically, while adults have visible symptoms.

The hepatitis A virus is transmitted by the fecal-oral route, which results in contamination of food or water that causes the infection of a healthy person. In most cases, when the contagion is through water, it is due to a lack of treatment, which means that the virus remains and people become infected by drinking it or using it to wash food. The virus can also be spread by contact with another person.

Causes of Hepatitis A

As we explained in the previous point, the two main routes of infection are through water, food, or contact with other people. In addition, there are other causes linked to its condition. At this point, we will know all the reasons a person can be infected.

  • Consumption of food, especially shellfish such as clams, oysters, and other mollusks, has not been cooked in waters contaminated with the virus.
  • Drinking water contaminated by the hepatitis A virus, including ice or fruits and vegetables washed with infected water.
  • I had contact with the feces or blood of an infected person. In this case, there is a greater risk when practicing anal sex.
  • Inadequate hygiene, such as handwashing being infected with the virus after going to the toilet and then contacting another person.

On the other hand, some of the risk factors when suffering from the disease are the following:

  • Places with a lack of drinking water.
  • Sites with poor personal hygiene.
  • People who live with other infected people.
  • Have sex with an infected person.
  • Traveling without being vaccinated against hepatitis A to areas where the virus is active in large numbers.

Symptoms associated with hepatitis A

People with the hepatitis A virus usually have no symptoms early in the infection. However, some of the signs that those infected with the virus may suffer are:

  • Fever.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Sickness.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weightloss.
  • Dark urine
  • Jaundice. Yellow skin and eyes.

Children do not tend to have barely noticeable symptoms. However, adults are the most affected and can develop fulminant hepatitis, which is very rare because it is highly lethal. Hepatitis A treatment

There is no specific treatment that works against hepatitis A. Some medications usually relieve symptoms but do not fight the root problem. Treatment is mainly focused on ensuring that the patient has an excellent nutritional balance, as well as adequate hydration to counteract diarrhea and vomiting. Likewise, it would help if you tried to avoid the intake of food or beverages such as alcohol not to intensify liver damage. For the same reason, eliminate fatty foods as much as possible since they increase the risk of vomiting.

The disease usually clears up within three months after the immune system fights it off. Full recovery can take up to 6 months, but most people with hepatitis A manage to overcome it. This is why the death rate from the infection is meager.

Prevention of hepatitis A

The hepatitis A virus must be combated through vaccination, as well as improved sanitation and food quality control measures. This can be achieved through a clean water system and good personal hygiene.

There is a vaccine that allows the formation of antibodies that will enable protection against the disease. Above all, the vaccine is recommended in :

  • Those people who agree with an infected with hepatitis A.
  • People who have sex with those infected with the virus.
  • Sexually active homosexual men.
  • Sanitary technicians.
  • People who are going to travel to places where the virus is very high.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Hepatitis A: causes, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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