Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of liver caused by hepatitis A virus. It is an inflammation of liver where the virus resides and multiplies in. hepatitis A is the mildest and the least serious of all the types of hepatitis. The other types can become chronic but hepatitis A never becomes chronic. It is transmitted by ingestion of infected water, person to person contact or through direct contact with the infectious tools of the affected people. It can even be transmitted by the use of comb, nail cutter, scissors and other related things which are commonly used at market places or parlors. This is one of the diseases which approximately affect ten million people every year. The growing number of patients is especially found in the developing countries and the regions of the world where hygienic conditions are poor and the families are poor enough to take proper diet.

It can be transferred through the blood of a person who has this disease. It spreads when a person having the virus in blood does not wash hands after coming from bathroom and touches another object or person. The water contaminated with the stools is also the reason of the spreading this virus.

Those who work at health care centers or at medical places where surgical instruments are frequently used are more prone to the disease and have high risk factor. While those who travel to the areas where the disease is common like Asia and Central America do bring the virus along when are returned. People who live in nursing homes or rehabilitation centers also have danger of being attacked by the virus of hepatitis A.

As far as symptoms of the viral disease are concerned, it takes almost fifteen days between the attack and the appearance of the symptoms. Common among them is fatigue. A person feels tired and exhausted even without performing any heavier task. The body limbs feel numbness and the energy level goes down. Anyhow, this is likely obvious symptom of many other diseases. So, other major symptoms are fever and abdominal pain. Fever always makes the body spirits low. The temperature rises and lowers down irregularly. Lower body parts often face jerks of pain and stress. Patient undergoes the feeling of nausea and complains of indigestion.

The more obvious symptom is turning of the skin in pale. The skin color becomes yellowish and the redness goes down. Appetite level goes down and it leads to the fastest weight loss. The eyes are found in the socket with the whitish and yellow shade. The urine color is dark. Usually it is due to the removal of the bile from the blood. Bile is a secretion of the liver and when it is removed from blood, it is excreted in urine which changes its color.

HAV enters the bloodstream through intestine and blood takes the virus to the targeted part i.e. liver. The virus multiplies within the liver and the number grows instantly.

Usually there is no recommended treatment for hepatitis A and only patient is asked to take full rest and avoid any outer exposure. The fatty foods can cause vomiting because fats are needed to be digested by liver so; fatty foods are advised not to be taken by patient. Herbal medications are more helpful and help patient to recover soon.

All patients of hepatitis A recover fully within 6 months and generally in 3 months.  A patient is recovered when the inflammation is removed and infection is gone. This type of hepatitis is not life threatening and there has been a very rare case when a patient suffering with hepatitis A is diagnosed to have a life threat.

Vaccines are available against the virus of the disease. These vaccines are the protective against the multiplication of the virus in the body. The complete course of vaccine takes 6 months but it starts working within 6-8 days after the first dose is taken. Once the person has an attack of the viral disease of this type of hepatitis; it is very rare for him to have this again in life. With the coming awareness, many people take vaccines as precautionary step and make themselves secure from the threat of the disease.

Some simple steps can be taken in order to reduce the danger and risk of the disease. First of all, the passengers who travel internationally should use only carbonated water for brushing teeth. They should not use the open food or the food offered by the air services. Water should be boiled before drinking. Boiling for one minute kills all types of the germs. Food should never be taken from the food vendors and should be used in the fresh or in sealed pack. When food is heated, it should be eaten right away and does not let to be polluted again. After coming from washroom, hands should be instantly washed. If you come in contact with a person who has this disease, you must wash yourself after the contact is over. All tools must be sterilized after use. When going to a public parlor or a health care center, you must emphasize on the use of new surgical instruments or should ask your practitioner to make sure if they are sterilized. Water and food must be kept away from the dirty places and must be covered.

If looking at these precautionary steps, it can be noticed that all is concerned with the basic principles of hygiene. So, the need is of the general awareness in the public for the use of individual and personal tools where possible. Government should take the responsibility of educating people on national level.

Though this type of hepatitis is not life threatening yet it takes the energy away and makes the spirits down. Once the liver undergoes infection, its functioning capability may be reduced. So, one must not take it lightly and vaccines must be taken for the safe side of the picture.

By: Ammarah Khan


2 Responses to “Hepatitis A”

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