In this health article, we talk about Hepatitis A, the viral liver disease. Find out what is Hepatitis A Virus, the virus that causes this viral liver disease. We also cover Hepatitis A causes and Symptoms along with information on Hepatitis A virus transmission.
Hepatitis A is an infectious disease of the liver mainly caused by Hepatitis A virus or HAV. The disease takes approximately two to six weeks before its symptoms are clearly visible and the patient is advised to go for a treatment. As Hepatitis symptoms are similar to those of common cold or digestive disorders, the infection goes unnoticed initially and is treated without proper medication. This leads to further complications and severe form of the disease that demands immediate medical attention and proper treatment.
Hepatitis A Symptoms
As mentioned above that symptoms of this infection are very common, we should not mistake them for common cold. Also, sometimes the symptoms are not visible until the infection reaches it full blown status. Here are a few symptoms of Hepatitis A that must not be ignored.
- Abdominal Pain
- Jaundice (yellowish urine, yellow eyes and skin)
- Loss of Appetite
Hepatitis A Virus Transmission
Infected food, water and feces are the main carriers of this disease. Care should be taken while buying food from places that are unhygienic and contaminated. Freshly cut fruits and vegetables should be eaten a soon as possible to avoid contamination and to stop harmful germs from spreading the infection. Similarly, raw shellfish harvested from contaminated water also carries the infection with it.
Hepatitis A Vaccine and Prevention
“Prevention is better that cure” is and old proverb that applies even today including in cases of Hepatitis A. Vaccination is the best defence to prevent Hepatitis A. First of all, you need to be careful not to come in contact with hepatitis infected people. However, if you cannot avoid contacting a Hepatitis A patient, then a medicine called immune globulin must be taken within two weeks. Children aged 1 or 2 years are vaccinated against this disease. This vaccine usually provides protection for 25 years.
As a general prevention for Hepatitis A, you must wash your hand with soap and water every time after using bathroom, changing diapers or handling food items.
Who Should Get Hepatitis A Vaccination?
- People traveling to the areas where this disease is spreading
- People suffering from blood clotting issues
- Those who take illegal or banned drugs
- People with a history of liver diseases
Hepatitis A Vaccine Side Effects
Though the vaccine is generally considered safe, there could be some allergic reactions in rare cases. These side effects last for a few minutes to a few hours depending upon various factors.
Some of the Side Effects are:
- Breathing Troubles
- Increase in heart rate
- Soreness at the injection site
- Headache in some cases
Hepatitis A Treatment
There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis A, but generally taking rest and avoiding fatty foods and alcoholic drinks are recommended. The patient is advised to remain hydrated and to consume balanced diet. Physicians treating hepatitis A patients usually try to correct liver functions which work well for most patients. In extreme conditions liver transplant is recommended but there are several factors that decide if transplant will really cure the disease. Generally liver transplant is considered in elderly patient..