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Hepatitis A

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is one of five human hepatitis viruses that primarily infect the human liver and cause human illness. The other known human hepatitis viruses are hepatitis B, C, D, and E.

Hepatitis A is also called Viral Hepatitis. The hepatitis A virus is heat stable and will survive for up to a month at ambient temperatures in the environment

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

There are many symptoms the most common symptoms are:

  • jaundice
  • fatigue
  • abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • fever

How is Hepatitis A transmitted?

The virus that causes hepatitis A is found in the stool of persons with hepatitis A. The hepatitis A virus is usually
spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A. The object that is placed in the mouth may look clean but still be infected with the hepatitis A virus.

Who is at risk of infection?

Anyone can contract Hepatitis A. However, there are certain people who have a higher risk of developing Hepatitis a. Those people are listed below.

  • Household contacts of infected persons
  • Sex contacts of infected persons
    Persons traveling to countries where hepatitis A is common
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Injecting and non-injecting drug users

How is Hepatitis A Treated?

If you believe you have Hepatitis A, you should seek medical help. Hepatitis A usually goes away on its own after several weeks.

Can Hepatitis A be prevented?

Yes. The Hepatitis A vaccine is the best way to prevent from catching the virus. Another common way to protect yourself from catching the virus is to maintain good personal hygiene and proper sanitation. Also, always wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing and eating food.

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