Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus is primarily spread when an uninfected person ingests food or water that is contaminated with the faeces of an infected person. The disease is closely associated with unsafe water or food, inadequate sanitation and poor personal hygiene. The symptoms may include:
• Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin, dark urine)
• Pain in your belly
• Loss of appetite
HOW IS HEPATITIS A DIAGNOSED?
The health care provider will perform a physical exam, which will show liver is enlarged and tender.
Blood tests may show:
• Raised IgM and IgG antibodies to hepatitis A (IgM is usually positive for IgG)
• Elevated liver enzymes (liver function tests), especially transaminase enzyme levels
HOW IS HEPATITIS A TREATED?
Of the different types of Hepatitis infections, type A is perhaps the mildest form and in many cases the condition may go away without any treatment. But since it is a contagious disorder, a lot of precautions have to be taken so that the affected person does not pass it in even inadvertently to others. These include washing hands frequently.
DID YOU KNOW?
There is a preventive vaccination available for Hepatitis A that can minimize your risks to the disease. Infants too are given this vaccination to help reduce their risks of getting this infection in the future.