HEPATITIS A

07 May
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). The virus is spread when a non-immune person eats or drinks something contaminated by virus. Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A infection does not cause chronic liver disease.

 

KEY FACTS

• Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness.
• It is spread by faecal-oral (or stool to mouth) transmission of contaminated water or food.
• Improved sanitation and the Hepatitis A vaccine are the most effective ways to combat the disease.

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). The virus is spread when an uninfected (or unvaccinated) person eats or drinks something contaminated by virus. Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A infection does not cause chronic liver disease.

Symptoms

The symptoms of hepatitis A range from mild to severe, and can include fever, malaise, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark-colored urine and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).

Not everyone who is infected will have all of the symptoms. Adults have signs and symptoms of illness more often than children, and the severity of disease and mortality increases in older age groups. Most people recover in several weeks - or sometimes months - without complications.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who has not had been infected previously or been vaccinated can contract hepatitis A.

Transmission    

HAV is usually spread from person to person when an uninfected person ingests food or beverages that have been contaminated with the stool of a person with the virus. Transmission via the blood is much less common. Casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. Recovery from symptoms following infection may be slow and take several weeks or months. Therapy is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids that are lost from vomiting and diarrhoea.

Prevention

Improved sanitation and Hepatitis A vaccination are the most effective ways to combat the disease.

Dr. Andrea

Dr. Andrea Rajnakova is our Consultant Gastroenterologist and Physician.

www.andrea-digestive-clinic.com/index.php/about/dr-andrea

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