Hepatitis A – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Summary: Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver and it is very common in several parts of the world and occurs especially in people who are traveling. The disease can be prevented with a few careful measures like vaccination and following the rules of good hygiene and sanitation.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection that is highly contagious. People traveling in foreign countries are especially susceptible to this. But with a few precautions, it can be avoided. This disease is totally preventable, all it takes is a vaccine. A traveling physician can advice travelers about this. This is a condition that affect the liver. The liver gets infected and the severity of the condition may vary from person to person. The disease is contagious and there are several ways for it to get into the system. Most commonly, this happens when infected food is ingested.
The virus for Hepatitis Ais present in the feces of the infected person and its can make way to the food. For instance when the waiter or the chef do not wash their hands properly after using the rest room, the virus can make its way to your plate. But don’t let this alarm you, the chances are extremely rare in an average restaurant that follows good hygiene practices. But if you happen to eat at a really shabby restaurant, you are at risk. But food can also get contaminated before it even reaches the restaurant. Ice that keeps the food frozen is vulnerable to fecal contamination. Mothers who change diaper of kids are also likely to catch it. And there is a very high chance that the condition can be sexually transmitted.
Hepatitis A Symptoms
The symptoms of Hepatitis A are fatigue, nausea, fever, vomiting, and pain in the joints. There will be extreme weakness in the body and jaundice sets in. And the symptoms of jaundice are instantly recognizable – the skin and eyes turn yellow in color. Jaundice can develop very gradually and the infected person can’t even tell he has been infected until it’s very late. But as you might have noticed, the symptoms described above apart from jaundice like fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, etc. are very general symptoms and it could be anything. It is not like the tell tale yellowing of the eyes in jaundice that gives it away instantly.
Hepatitis A is diagnosed with a series of blood tests to ascertain the presence of the virus. Viral diseases take a long time to recover from, hepatitis treatment can go on for weeks. But the good news is, once treated, the patient is immune form all future occurrences of the disease. To prevent Hepatitis A, just maintain goo hygiene and better to undergo vaccination if you are traveling.