Hepatitis A: Sings, Symtoms, Causes and Treatment
What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is characterized as an infection involving the liver. The said condition is brought about by the virus of the same designation, which contributes to the malfunction of the body’s liver and 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 the illness?
The signs and symptoms of this condition depend on the intensity of the virus towards 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 are the set of symptoms associated with the infection:
- Light-coloured stool
- Severe pain in the abdomen
- Dark-coloured 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 on the body for about 15 days to a month. While some of these can be managed at home, the severe symptoms should be given 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 a regular visit to the doctor and getting themselves tested are necessary steps to maintain their health and to know their status.
What are the causes and complications involving Hepatitis A?
As mentioned above, hepatitis A occurs when the virus enters the body and attacks the liver. That virus is also known as the hepatitis A virus. Generally, the illness is triggered when someone comes in contact with 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 someone contracts or spreads the virus:
- If you are consuming food that is cooked or prepared by an individual who has the virus, you will be infected.
- 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, a blood test will be performed by extracting a small amount of blood from your vein and test if further.
In terms of the risk factors, the following list contains the possible causes where the infection is likely to happen:
- 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 to different sexual partners
- Having sex with someone who has been diagnosed and not using condoms
- 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 safety of public health, infections are possible to occur, especially hepatitis A.
How is it prevented and treated?
There are different ways to prevent yourself from acquiring this life-threatening infection. Some of these are as follows:
- Keeping yourself clean every day. Keeping it simple by always washing your hands with antibacterial soap and clean water.
- Avoid eating in a surrounding where low sanitation is evident.
- In countries where the infection rate involving hepatitis A is high, it is advisable to only drink water from bottled products.
- If you engage in 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 given is focused on alleviating the symptoms caused by the virus.
Thankfully, a vaccine is available to keep yourself protected from the infection. The vaccination involves two doses, which is needed for individuals to complete to have a 100% protection guarantee. Furthermore, keep in mind that staying healthy is always a must, not just to prevent hepatitis A but other life-threatening medical conditions.