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 Hepatitis A

Definition


Hepatitis is an inflammation if the liver. In Hepatitis A the inflammation is caused by a virus.


Cause


The cause for hepatitis A is the Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) which is contracted in the following ways:


  • Ingestion of fecal-contaminated food or water

  • Sexual contact with someone that in infected

  • Blood transfusions

  • Contact with infected body fluids

  • Needles that are contaminated

  • Transmission between mother and child during pregnancy


Risk Groups


  • People who travel internationally

  • People living in areas where hepatitis A outbreaks are common

  • People who live with or have sex with people that are infected

  • Men who have sex with men

  • Injecting and non-injecting drug users


Symptoms


Children do not have these signs and symptoms as often as adults.


  • Jaundice

  • Fatigue

  • Abdominal Pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Fever


Treatment


Hepatitis A Resolves on its own over a period of several weeks.


Prevention


The best way to prevent against Hepatitis A is to get the Hepatitis A vaccine. The vaccine is recommended for people from a year old and older who fall into the risk group. For a short term protection would be immune globulin. Immune globulin can be give before and up to two weeks after contact with HAV (Hepatitis A Virus). An everyday prevent against Hepatitis A would be to wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing or eating food.