Hepatitis A: Sings, Symtoms, Causes and Treatment
What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A, just like B and C affects the liver. It is caused due to the Hepatitis A virus, which contributes to the malfunction of the liver, causing other health concerns associated with the organ. One of the many symptoms of this infection is inflammation, especially on the abdominal part of the body where the liver is located.
What are the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A?
The signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A depend on the intensity of the virus in the body. These signs can be categorized as mild and severe. To better know how to manage these reactions, learn the effects of Hepatitis A and its corresponding medical therapy.
Here is the set of symptoms associated with the infection:
- Light-colored stool
- Severe pain in the abdomen
- Dark-colored urine
- Lack of appetite
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Itchiness and numbness
- Recurrent fever
- Pain in the joints
- Severe diarrhea
- Fatigue and extreme weakness
- Unexplained tiredness
- Body aches
- Rapid weight loss
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
The symptoms mentioned here can stay in the body for about 15 days to a month. While some of these can be managed at home, the severe symptoms need immediate medical care. Some people may need to go to the hospital if their bodies aren’t able to function because of the symptoms.
In some cases, people who have already been infected by the virus do not show any symptoms. That is why annual medical tests are necessary to keep diseases at bay and maintain a healthy body.
What are the causes and complications involving Hepatitis A?
As mentioned above, hepatitis A occurs when the Hepatitis A virus enters the body and attacks the liver. Generally, the illness is triggered by viral contamination. Whether it be consuming food or swallowing liquids that are contaminated with the hepatitis A virus, infection is very likely to happen.
The following are the most common ways that spreads the virus:
- The virus can live in the water, especially in sewage. If you happen to ingest food contaminated by sewage water, infection is likely to happen.
- Adding contaminated ice to your drink increases your risk for infection.
- If you engage in unprotected sex with someone who has been diagnosed with the condition, you can acquire the infection. That is why using condoms and other protective barriers are always a must.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious illness. If you do not protect yourself from it, you will easily get an infection. Always observe if you are consuming fresh and safe foods. Always be observant if you are drinking clean water. Furthermore, if you have Hepatitis A, protect others by not irresponsibly spreading it.
Diagnosis and knowing your risk for the disease
Prior to having a concrete diagnosis of Hepatitis A, the healthcare professional will discuss with you the symptoms you are experiencing. After that, the healthcare professional will perform a full physical examination to know if you are having other forms of infection, such as the appearance of sores or blisters as signs of herpes. If there are none, they will conduct a blood test by extracting a small amount of blood from your vein.
The following risk factors can also increase your chances of getting the disease:
- If you are travelling to a country where the condition is common and widespread
- If you are engaged in using illegal drugs where sharing needles or syringes are common
- If you are sexually active with different sexual partners
- Having been diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus
Sanitation plays a significant role in the safety of thousands of individuals. Without an established protocol involving the public health safety, infections like Hepatitis A can multiply.
How is Hepatitis A prevented and treated?
There are different ways to prevent Hepatitis A. Some of these are as follows:
- Keeping yourself clean every day. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and clean water.
- Avoid eating in a surrounding with poor sanitation.
- Drink bottled and mineral water when you visit places with high hepatitis A rate.
- If you engage in casual hookups, always ask your sexual partner about his medical history.
In terms of the treatment process, there is no concrete medical care given for those with the condition. Since the infection can disappear on its own after a short period, the treatment focuses on alleviating the symptoms caused by the virus.
Thankfully, a vaccine is available to protect us from Hepatitis A. The vaccination comes in two doses, that guarantees a 100% protection. Furthermore, keep in mind that staying clean and healthy is a must, to not only prevent hepatitis A but also other medical conditions.