Hepatitis A is a virus, or infection, that causes liver disease and inflammation of the liver. Viruses can cause sickness.If you have this infection, you have inflammation in your liver that’s caused by a virus. hepatitis A virus (HAV)
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are caused by different viruses, are spread in different ways and require different treatments. This means that prior infection with one type of virus won’t offer any immunity against the others.
Symptoms of hepatitis A
hepatitis A can occur 2 to 7 weeks after coming into contact with the virus.A.Children less than five years old, show few or no symptoms but for older children and adults, the symptoms include:
yellow skin and eyes (jaundice).
loss of appetite
Causes and Spreading of hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is caused by a virus. The virus can survive for several hours outside the body but persists on the hands and in food for even longer and is resistant to heating and freezing.The virus is spread when it enters the mouth, which can happen when hands, foods or other items are contaminated with the faeces of a person with hepatitis A.
Eat fruits, vegetables, or other foods that were contaminated during handling
Eat raw shellfish harvested from water that’s got the virus in it
Swallow contaminated ice
Who’s at Highest Risk
1 Live with or have sex with someone who’s infected
2 Travel to countries where hepatitis A is common
3 Men who have sex with men
4 People who inject illegal drugs
5 Kids in child care and their teachers
6 workers in the sex industry
7. people who inject illegal drugs.
How is hepatitis A treated?
Hepatitis A usually gets better in a few weeks without treatment. However, some people can have symptoms for up to 6 months. Your doctor may suggest medicines to help relieve your symptoms. Talk with your doctor before taking prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
See your doctor regularly to make sure your body has fully recovered. If symptoms persist after 6 months, then you should see your doctor again.
Treatment for hepatitis A
There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. In most cases, your immune system will clear the infection and your liver will completely heal. Treatment aims to ease symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. Options may include:
Rest –hepatitis A can make you tired and you have less energy for day-to-day life, so you should rest when necessary.
Eat small meals more often – nausea can affect your ability to eat and can contribute to tiredness, so eat high-calorie foods if nausea is a problem.
Protect your liver – the liver processes medication and alcohol, so avoid alcohol and review any medication with your doctor
Points to Remember about hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a viral disease that affects the liver.
Children under five years of age often don’t show symptoms.
Having a hepatitis A infection provides lifelong immunity against hepatitis A, but not against hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
Immunisation is the best protection against hepatitis A infection and is recommended for people in high-risk groups.
Common immunisation side effects are usually mild and temporary (occurring in the first few days after vaccination) and do not require specific treatment.