Hepatitis A – Liver

Hepatitis A (HAV) is an acute infectious disease that causes inflammation of the liver. There are five (5) other types of Hepatitis which includes: Hepatitis B, C, D, E, F, and G, but HAV is the most common and the lease serious of liver disease. “HAV reproduces itself by utilizing the liver cell’s ribosome for viral replication; however this interferes with normal liver cell function. ” (Davis, MD, PHD, 2012) The incubation period for HAV is from two (2) to seven (7) weeks after a person has been infected.

The symptoms for this disease are mild or some people have no symptoms at all. However, it has been found that children have a less likely chance to have symptoms than older people. “The most common symptoms are as follows: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (especially in children), pale or gray-colored stools, low grade fever, loss of appetite, rash, tiredness (fatigue), jaundice (a yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes), urine is dark brownish in color, like cola or strong tea, pain in area of liver, on the right side of the abdomen just under the rib cage.

” (Davis, MD, PHD, 2012) Dehydration may occur if the infected person is constantly vomiting. This can be a serious or life-threatening symptom which can cause headaches, irritability, and the feeling of being tired and confused. Once a person becomes infected, the symptoms of the disease can last for approximately two (2) months or from six (6) to nine (9) months. “Hepatitis A is usually spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person infected with hepatitis A (even though it may look clean).

” (Clinaero, Inc. , 2006-2012) The transmission of Hepatitis A can also occur through what is known as fecal-oral transmission. This normally happens when a person improperly washes their hands after using the toilet. The virus can also be transmitted through common means of transmission such as: food and water contamination (fruits, milk, shellfish, iced drinks, and vegetables). When foods are being processed by infected people for delivery to stores and prepared restaurants it causes contamination which spreads the disease.

The other common ways that HAV can be spread is through sexual contact (homosexual men), eating utensils that are contaminated, and touching contaminated surfaces and then putting your hands in your mouth. Hepatitis A is the only one of the five (5) major types of hepatitis that does not transmit the disease through blood. At this time, there is currently no specific cure for hepatitis A; however, the body will get rid of the virus on its own, and there will be no lasting damage to the liver.

If the symptoms an infected person experience such as: excessive vomiting which cause dehydration and tiredness or fatigue. The doctor will recommend the infected person to get plenty of rest for the tiredness or fatigue. If an infected person experience excessive vomiting, they will be prescribed some medication that will control the symptoms, eat smaller snacks, avoid foods that are difficult to eat, and eat high-calorie foods. If a person is dehydrated, the doctor may prescribe IV fluids or recommend drinking plenty of water.

Furthermore, there is a hepatitis vaccine that an uninfected person can get that can prevent them from getting the virus. There are many ways to prevent the spread of the Hepatitis A virus. The prevention can be accomplished by practicing good personal hygiene by thoroughly washing your hands often when touching different surfaces, avoid putting unwashed hands in or near mouth, wash hands after using the toilet and before preparing food. A person needs to make sure they wash and peel as fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid eating uncooked meat and fish.

One could boil their water if bottled water is unavailable. “If a person has never had hepatitis A and is exposed to the virus, call a primary care practitioner immediately. There is a treatment that may prevent individuals from becoming infected. It is called immune serum globulin (Gammastan, Gammar-P) and is composed of antibodies that help destroy the virus. ” (Davis, MD, PHD, 2012) The outlook for full recovery of the HAV is in three (3) to six (6) months and the liver returns to normal.

There are normally no complications from this virus and once the virus has subsided, there are not traces of it left in the infected person’s body. Once a person has been exposed to the virus, the body builds immunity to the disease and will protect it from developing again.

Works Cited: Clinaero, Inc. (2006-2012). Emedtv: Health information brought to life. Retrieved from http://hepatitis. emedtv. com/hepatitis-a/hepatitis-a-transmission. html Davis, MD, PHD, C. P. (2012). Emedicine health: Hepatitis a. Retrieved from http://www. emedicinehealth. com/hepatitis_a/page2_em. htm

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