Hepatitis A – Causes and Symptoms of Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver that is caused due to the type A virus. It is one of the several types of hepatitis viruses and is a highly contagious liver infection. It is the least serious form of hepatitis and is commonly known as infectious hepatitis. It is a acute infection and people with this type of infection make a full recovery in few days.

Causes of Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is caused as a result of infection with hepatitis A virus. The virus is spread mainly through contamination i.e when a person ingests food along with the contaminated fecal matter. The virus is transmitted by following ways:

  • By receiving a blood transfusion with virus containing blood
  • Having sex with someone infected with the virus
  • Being in close contact with an infected person
  • Consuming raw shellfish from sewage polluted water
  • Drinking contaminated water
  • Eating food without properly washing your hands or eating improperly washed food

The following factors increase the risk of hepatitis A:

  • Receiving clotting factor concentrates for hemophilia or other conditions
  • Working in a environment that is constantly exposed to the virus
  • Living with an infected person
  • Using non-injected or injected illicit drugs
  • Having sexual contact with the infected person
  • Working or traveling in places with high rates of hepatitis A

Symptoms of Hepatitis A
The signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Itching
  • Muscle pain
  • Dark urine
  • Low grade fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort in the area of your liver
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Light colored stools
  • Joint and muscle pains
  • Enlarged and tender liver

Usually symptoms last for 1-9 months. It has been estimated that about 15% of the infected people have symptoms for 6-9 months.

When to seek a Medical Professional help
Consult medical professional help immediately as soon as you notice the signs and symptoms of hepatitis A mentioned above.

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