The hepatitis A virus, which causes hepatitis A, is a highly contagious liver ailment. The virus is one of several kinds of hepatitis viruses that cause inflammation and impair the function of your liver.
The most common ways to acquire hepatitis A are through tainted food or drink, as well as through intimate contact with an infected person or object. Hepatitis A cases that are mild don’t need to be treated. Most infected individuals fully recover without experiencing any long-term liver damage.
One of the greatest methods to prevent hepatitis A is to maintain excellent hygiene, which includes often washing your hands. For those who are most at risk, vaccines are available.
Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A often don’t develop until a few weeks after contracting the infection. Hepatitis A typically takes 14–28 days to incubate. However, not everyone who has hepatitis A experiences these symptoms.
- Suddenly feeling sick and vomiting
- Abdominal soreness particularly on your upper right side under your lower ribs (by your liver)
- Bowel motions that have a clay color
- Reduced appetite
- A minor fever
- Dark feces
- Aching joints
- The skin and the whites of your eyes are becoming yellow (jaundice)
- Strong itching
When hepatitis A relapses, a person who has recently recovered becomes ill once more with an acute episode. This is normally followed by recovery.
The virus that infects and inflames liver cells is the source of hepatitis A. The inflammation can impact your liver’s functionality and result in additional hepatitis A symptoms. When you consume food or liquids contaminated with feces, even in minute amounts, the virus is most frequently disseminated. Sneezing or coughing does not spread it.
The hepatitis A virus can spread in the following ways, among others:
- Eating food that has been touched by a virus carrier who hasn’t properly washed their hands after using the restroom
- Ingesting tainted water
- Eating raw seafood that was caught in sewage-contaminated water
- Maintaining close contact with an infected person, even if they show no symptoms,
- Being intimate with a person who has the virus
The hepatitis A virus can be detected in your body through blood tests. The identification of HAV-specific immunoglobulin G (IgM) antibodies in the blood allows for a precise diagnosis. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays are additional procedures that can be used in laboratories with specific equipment to identify the hepatitis A virus RNA.
Hepatitis A has no specific treatment. Your body will naturally rid itself of the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A often heals the liver without any long-term effects within six months. Treatment for hepatitis A often emphasizes comfort maintenance and symptom management. You might have to:
Many hepatitis A patients experience fatigue, illness, and decreased vitality.
- Relieve nausea
Eating might be challenging when feeling nauseous. Instead of eating three meals a day, try nibbling throughout the day. Eat more high-calorie items to meet your caloric needs. For instance, you can drink milk or fruit juice instead of water. In the event that vomiting occurs, it’s critical to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Don’t drink and use drugs carefully
The liver may have trouble digesting alcohol and prescription drugs. A person with hepatitis should abstain from drinking. More liver damage may result from it. All of your prescription and over-the-counter medications should be discussed with your doctor.
The Doral Health and Wellness clinic specializes in gastroenterology disorders in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive organs including the stomach, bowels, liver, and gallbladder. Please call us at 347-868-1016.