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Hepatitis A

The liver gets affects due to Hepatitis virus and causes Hepatitis A in people who do not have immunity for the disease. However, it can be easily cured as vaccination is readily available. The only problem with this disease is that it is viral in nature and can easily spread when hygiene is not properly maintained. The liver can get inflammation issues and it cannot work properly leading to other complications. In some regions, it can spread like an epidemic at a quick rate and it becomes difficult to handle the situation when a large number of people are not vaccinated. Most of the symptoms are clearly visible within a few weeks after the person gets affected and a simple blood test can confirm the presence of hepatitis virus in the body. Once this stage is reached, doctors provide the required vaccination and most people often recover within a few weeks.

 

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

As it takes a couple of weeks to know the symptoms, you should be very careful when there is a breakout of the hepatitis virus in your neighbourhood. Watch out for these symptoms in other people and immediately approach your doctor when you find anything suspicious about the health condition.

- As the condition affects the liver, it is common to notice symptoms of nausea and vomiting.

- Along with that, many people also complain about discomfort and pain in the abdominal region and this will be more in the liver region.

- Even the colour of the urine will turn dark and these symptoms of hepatitis A are often visible after the second week after getting the infection.

- The bowel movements will also undergo some changes and you can notice a change in colour of stools.

- Most often, people complain about getting tired easily and there will be low fever all the time.

- Some patients also experience joint pain and this is more common among elderly people or obese people.

- It is also common to notice symptoms of jaundice during this stage and the skin and the eyes turn slightly yellow in colour.

- Most of the symptoms disappear after taking the treatment and it is possible to get a complete cure in a few weeks.

 

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Causes of Hepatitis A

- Contaminated Food: the most common cause is food contamination and it can spread easily when hygiene is not maintained in the cooking area. Most people do not clean their hands while cooking and this can lead to the virus spreading through the food medium. Always ensure that you wash hands after using the toilet and make sure that infected people do not enter the cooking area.

- Contaminated Water: In most countries, water contamination and lack of vaccination are the main causes of hepatitis A and you need to be very careful when you are visiting such places. The virus can easily spread like an epidemic through this medium and many people can get affected at once. Especially elderly people who do not have vaccination are vulnerable to get hepatitis A and they need immediate medical treatment to overcome the problem.

Eating fish from polluted source: You should be very careful when you are eating fish from unknown sources as the fish can carry the virus if it is from a polluted source. In some cases, sewage water can mix with pond water or lake water and contaminate the fish and other animals with hepatitis A virus. When you eat fish that is not cooked properly, the virus can survive the heat to a certain extent and get passed on to your body. In this way, you can easily get affected when you are eating raw fish from polluted sources.

- Physical contact: When you are very close to the infected person and use the same clothes or bed, you are at risk of getting infected with hepatitis A virus. For this reason, you should always make it a point to stay away from infected people and ask them to use a mask for the safety of everyone in the family. Make sure that they maintain proper hygiene especially after using the toilet as the virus can easily spread through faecal matter.

Sexual contact: if your partner is infected with this virus, you may easily contract the virus when you have sex with your partner. It is a good idea to completely avoid sex during the infection phase as this will reduce the risk of getting an infection. Apart from that, you can also use condoms and other protection to avoid the infection during sexual activities.

 

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Diagnosis of Hepatitis A

Getting a blood test is the sure shot way to detect the presence of hepatitis A virus in the body. When you approach your doctor with any symptoms, they do the physical examination and suggest for a simple blood test. It becomes clear after the blood test results and you can go for further treatment to control the symptoms. There is no need to panic when you are diagnosed with hepatitis A as this can easily be cured with proper medication. In some cases, there may be no symptoms for many weeks and getting a blood test is the only option to determine the infection in your body.

 

Prevention of Hepatitis A

It is very easy to prevent hepatitis A when you follow these simple steps. Always ensure proper hygiene especially with regards to using toilets and avoid eating raw meat or any other seafood. Remember that you can easily choose to get the vaccination as this can prevent the infection in future.

- Maintain hygiene: it is very important to maintain hygiene as this can ensure that the virus will not spread easily from one person to another person. You need to understand that hepatitis A virus spread through human waste easily and when you do not wash hands after using toilets, you will be putting everyone else at risk of getting infected with this virus. Especially people using the kitchen should be extra cautious about hygiene as they can potentially transmit the virus to many people if they are infected with hepatitis A virus. This goes a long way in the prevention of hepatitis A disease.

Get vaccination: you can easily get a vaccination for hepatitis A and this will prevent any infection in the future. The vaccination is given twice within a gap of 6 months. It can be given to children above the age of 1 or other people when they have missed the vaccination in childhood. It is recommended that people having a risk of getting hepatitis A should always get the vaccination as they can stay protected throughout the life from this virus. If you are working in a hospital or lab that puts you under risk of exposure to hepatitis A virus, you should get vaccinated immediately from a qualified doctor. Other than that, people using any form of drugs are under the risk of getting infected in the future. Even men having sex with other men are under greater risk of getting infected due to their sexual activities. Apart from these people, others who are likely to travel to destinations that are notorious for such infections should always get the vaccination and stay safe in future.

- Avoid raw meat and seafood: The virus can easily survive in raw meat and even in undercooked meat and seafood. For this reason, you should always avoid eating raw meat or seafood unless you are sure about the source. In some cases, the seafood can come from a water source that is contaminated with the virus and you can easily catch the infection in this manner. Even undercooked seafood and meat can lead to infection and you should avoid them if you are not sure about the source of food.

- Travel safety tips: Many people who are not vaccinated are at risk of getting the virus when they travel to places where this infection is common. You can notice that many countries have a large number of cases with this infection and you should always choose to get vaccinated if you are travelling to such places for work or holidays. Remember that vaccination provides complete security against the virus and you need not worry about anything once you get the shots.

 

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Treatment for Hepatitis A

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A and most of the treatment given are to control the symptoms of the disease. However, most people are able to recover normally after a few weeks and it does not cause any major complications. If you are lucky enough to get the vaccination before getting infected, you will not even be affected as your body will have complete immunity against the disease.

When you notice that you are affected, you should always maintain proper hygiene and eat healthy food to boost the immune system. Along with this, taking medication will control the symptoms and give relief within a few weeks. If you are not having other diseases that impact your immune system, you will be able to recover in quick time without any hassles.

 

Complications of Hepatitis A

Acute liver failure is the only major complication of this disease. When this is combined with other diseases of the immune system, it can create serious health hazards and even become fatal in some cases. However, it happens in rare cases and most people are able to recover properly after getting timely treatment. If proper treatment is provided at the right time, patients can easily get back to normal condition within a few months. Most people who are healthy are able to recover faster than people who are suffering from other health disorders.

 

Myths about Hepatitis A

Myths #1: Children are under greater risk

This is not true as the risk increases with age with regards to this disease. In simple terms, people above the age of 50 are more likely to get affected than young people. However, even children can get infected with hepatitis A when proper hygiene is not maintained. For this reason, it is important to get the vaccination in childhood so that you can get protection against this virus for a lifetime.

Myths #2: Hepatitis can come back: It does not come back in the majority of the cases. There is no need to worry about the reappearance of the disease after you are completely cured. Your body will have sufficient antibodies to fight against the virus in the future. For this reason, people who are already vaccinated become safe for their life and they need not worry about catching the infection at a later stage.

Myths #3: Infection through blood transfusion: it is not possible to get infected in this manner. Remember that the infection happens when human waste of the infected person gets in contact orally with another person. This usually happens when food gets contaminated with human waste or water source is contaminated. Other than that, there is no need to worry about getting the infection through blood transfusion.

Myths #4: Infection is not sexually transmitted: This is completely false and the virus can easily be transmitted during sex. For this reason, you should always be careful and use protection when you are having sex with your infected partner. It is also a good idea to completely stop sex until the infection is completely cured so that you will not be under risk in any manner.

 

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Conclusion

As you can see, getting a proper vaccination for hepatitis A virus means that you will get lifelong protection against the virus. Make sure that you provide the vaccination for your children at a young age and protect them from this virus forever. There is also a need to maintain proper hygiene at home as this can easily spread through contaminated food and water. Also, maintain proper hygiene when you are travelling to infection-prone areas and try to get the vaccination if you need to stay there for a long time. There is no need to worry about the infection once you are cured as this does not relapse in most cases. However, there is no treatment for this infection and you can only treat the symptoms of the disease. In most cases, you can easily recover within a few weeks and lead a normal life without any long-term complications.

 

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Last updated on : 26-10-2018
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