Hepatitis refers to viral infections that cause inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A, B and C are the most common types as each of the types have different causes and symptoms. Let us see the detailed symptoms and the cause of Hepatitis A in detail for your reference.
Hepatitis A is the most common of the seven known types of viral hepatitis. Infection with the hepatitis A virus leads to inflammation of the liver, but complications are rarely serious.
How hepatitis A is spread
The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is found in the faeces of someone infected with the virus. It only takes a tiny amount of faeces getting inside another person’s mouth to cause hepatitis A infection. Personal hygiene, such as careful hand washing, can minimize the risk of the virus being passed on. HAV is a common infection in many parts of the world where sanitation and sewage infrastructure is poor. Often people become infected with HAV by eating or drinking contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is also classed as a sexually transmitted disease because it can be passed on sexually, particularly during activities such as anilingus. The washing of genital and anal areas before sex, and the use of condoms or dental dams can help to prevent this risk. Hepatitis A can affect all age groups.
Once a person is exposed to the virus it takes between two and six weeks to produce symptoms. People usually get hepatitis A by eating food or drinking water that’s been contaminated with feces. As disgusting as that sounds, though, hepatitis A is actually considered less destructive than some other hepatitis viruses. Unlike some other hepatitis viruses, hepatitis A rarely leads to permanent liver damage. Within a few weeks, the symptoms will have gone away on their own and the virus will no longer be in a person’s system. Once someone has recovered from a hepatitis A infection, that person has immunity to the virus, meaning he or she will probably never get it again. People are also protected against hepatitis A if they’ve been vaccinated against it.
Signs and Symptoms
It is possible to experience mild or no symptoms whatsoever, but even if this is the case the person’s faeces will still be infectious to others. Many people who become infected with HAV will have symptoms that include a short, mild, flu-like illness, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, weight loss, jaundice, itchy skin and abdominal pain. The infection usually clears in up to 2 months, but may occasionally recur or persist longer in some people. Once a person has been infected and their body has fought off the virus they are permanently immune. Occasionally symptoms may be severe and require monitoring in hospital.
There are rarely any complications with hepatitis A infection. Permanent damage to the liver is very unlikely, but in extremely rare cases the infection can be fatal, particularly in older people.
Read out and get to know about the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A in detail for your knowledge.