Hepatitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the liver. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 4 million people in the United States have some form of Hepatitis.
Most cases are the result of ingesting contaminated water or food. Hepatitis A is different from Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Hepatitis A does not cause any long-term illness. Over time, the liver is able to heal without any lasting damage. Most people that contract Hepatitis A become immune and do not contract the disease again.
Hepatitis A Transmission
Drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated foods are common ways to contract Hepatitis A. The virus mainly spreads via the fecal-oral route. Having unprotected sex with someone with Hepatitis is another way to become infected with the virus.
Hepatitis A Symptoms
Symptoms of Hepatitis A are not observed until two to six weeks after infection. Most people never show any symptoms and the majority of symptoms are mild and do not have any lasting effects. It is important to note that people who are asymptomatic can still spread the virus. The common symptoms of Hepatitis A include low-grade fever and jaundice.
Hepatitis A Treatment
There is no formal treatment for Hepatitis A. A healthy individual’s immune system will fight off the virus on its own. The presence of other diseases that compromise the immune system, like HIV, can lead to further complications. Usually, the liver will fully heal within six months without any permanent damage. Most people are told to avoid alcohol and certain medications to prevent further aggravating the liver. If nausea is present while fighting off the disease, individuals are often told to avoid large meals and patients are advised to drink high-calorie drinks like fruit juice. Plenty of rest and sleep are also advised.