Hepatitis A is the most common type of viral hepatitis, highly infectious and is caused by the Hepatitis A virus. This disease commonly affects children and young adults. The spread of infection is mainly by the oro-fecal route and arises from the investigation of contaminated water and foods (like milk). Overcrowding and poor sanitation facilitate the spread of this disease. Clinical illness is more severe in adults than in children. No carrier state, complete recovery, does not lead to chronic hepatitis.
Older children and adults typically have symptoms. If symptoms develop, they can appear abruptly and can include:
Most children younger than age 6 do not have symptoms when they have Hepatitis A. When symptoms are present, young children typically do not have jaundice, but older children and adults with Hepatitis A do.
If symptoms occur, they usually start appearing 4 weeks after exposure, but can occur as early as 2 and as late as 7 weeks after exposure. Symptoms usually develop over a period of several days.
Symptoms usually last less than 2 months, although some people (10%–15%) with Hepatitis A can have symptoms for as long as 6 months.
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Complication of Hepatitis A can lead to:
If you know you have been suffering with Hepatitis A, immediately contact your doctor. There is no treatment for the disease. Your doctor may take tests that check your liver function to ensure your body is healing.
Bed rest is advised until clinical and laboratory evidence of acute illness has disappeared. Patients should be treated at home unless there is specific indication.
Indications for hospitalization
High carbohydrate, high protein, low fat diet, thus, providing adequate calories (2000-3000 K cal). Initially, fruit juice, glucose and sugarcane juice should be given to an anorexic patient.
Hepatitis A is spreadable through sexual activity; therefore, care should be taken while having sex.
Recovery from symptoms following infection may take several weeks and even extend up to several months.
Vaccination is your best defense against Hepatitis A. If you feel risky about Hepatitis A, you can get a specific medication known as immune globulin within two weeks.
Good hygiene is also an important factor in the prevention of Hepatitis A. Hence, always wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, before and after handling food, as well as after changing a diaper.
No. There are no specific medicines to cure infection with Hepatitis A.
It can be treated by avoiding sexual contact and maintaining good hygienic conditions, using proper diet and visiting health care providers on time.
Recovery from symptoms following infection may take several weeks and can even extend up to several months.
No. Sexual activity should be avoided until treatment is successful.
Yes. Re-infection is possible from sexual activity with an infected person.
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