Hepatitis A is a serious liver infection caused by hepatitis A virus. It is found in the stools of people in Hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is spread via fecal-oral route of ingestion of food or drinks contaminated with the fecal content containing with hepatitis A. Eating raw shellfish which is contaminated because of poor sewage system is also a way of transmission. It usually happen in places with poor sanitation and from people with poor personal hygiene.
The incubation period from ingestion of contaminated food to the onset of symptoms is 28 days.
The symptoms of hepatitis A include
- fever and lethargy
- jaundice (yellow skin/eyes and tea colored urine)
- abdomen discomfort
- loss of appetite and vomiting
- severe abdomen pain in children
Most people need to be hospitalized during acute hepatitis A. Most people recover within 2 months however some may have persistent illness for 6 months. It is a self limiting disease. However in elderly, there is a risk of developing into fulminant hepatitis (acute liver failure). There is no long term complications like association with liver cancer unlike hepatitis B and C.
Treatment of Hepatitis A
As hepatitis A is a self-limiting disease hence there is no specific treatment. Treatment is only for symptomatic relief of symptoms and bed rest. The person with hepatitis A carries the virus and they can spread the virus to others hence they need to exercise proper personal hygiene.
Patients who are dehydrated, with persistent vomiting and signs of impending liver failure need to be hospitalized for monitoring.
Prevention of Hepatitis A
One should observe good personal hygiene and avoid consuming raw seafood and water which could be contaminated with sewage. A better way or prevention is via immunization with hepatitis A vaccine. This is especially important for those who travel to hepatitis A endemic regions like southeast Asia, Caribbean, mexico, Africa, eastern Europe and south and central america.
Who should get Hepatitis A vaccine?
Read more: http://www.medthical.com/hepatitis-a-vaccine.html