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Hepatitis A

 

There are a number of types of Hepatitis including Hepatitis A, B and C. Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus. It is transmitted through contact with anything that has been contaminated by the faeces of an infected person. This occurs in most cases through eating contaminated food or drinking water. High risk groups include people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men and those living in areas with poor sanitation.      

 

Symptoms  

Children under the age of five often display no symptoms; however they are still able to transmit the virus. Symptoms in older children and adults include:  

 

  • Nausea,  
  • Fever,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Dark urine, and  
  • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice).      

 

Once infected with the virus, a person is contagious from two weeks before showing signs of any symptoms. Symptoms may last a few weeks but full recovery usually occurs. There are no long term symptoms of infection.      

 

Treatment  

Hepatitis A does not require specific treatment as the immune system will generally clear the infection on its own. Treatment options may be used to treat symptoms of the virus such as bed rest, eating small meals to reduce nausea, and reducing alcohol and medication use to lessen the strain on the liver.      

 

Prevention  

The best way to protect yourself against Hepatitis A is through vaccination. Practicing strict hygiene standards such as hand washing before eating and after using the bathroom is also advised. If engaging in sexual contact involving the anal area, protection should be used.      

 

Disclaimer  

The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.      

 

Sources  

Better Health: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Hepatitis_A_affects_the_liver  

WHO: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs328/en/  

My Dr: http://www.mydr.com.au/gastrointestinal-health/hepatitis-a-b-and-c-an-overview