Hepatitis A – Symptoms, causes and treatment

Hepatitis A – What is hepatitis A? Hepatitis A is an infection that assaults the liver because of the HAV virus.This disease is very easily transmitted through food and drink contaminated with viruses that can come from the patient’s feces.

HAV virus is a type of hepatitis virus that can cause liver inflammation. As a result, the ability of liver function decreases. The risk factors for hepatitis are related to poor environmental hygiene and clean living behavior.

Hepatitis A usually does not cause severe liver damage. In addition, hepatitis is also not at risk of developing chronic disease. Although relatively mild, the symptoms of this disease can still interfere with daily activities.

Please note that most people who recover from hepatitis will gain immunity. That is why, people who have had hepatitis A will be more immune to attacks of HAV infection.

In rare cases, HAV virus infection can also last for months and be fatal to cause death. Therefore, vaccination and maintaining personal hygiene are important to prevent the spread of the HAV virus.

How common is this condition?

Hepatitis A is one of the most common infectious hepatitis diseases in many countries. In Indonesia alone, the number of people with hepatitis has continued to grow over the last few years.

Based on the Basic Health Research (Riskesdas), the prevalence of hepatitis patients based on doctor’s diagnosis has doubled. This number increased to 0.4 percent during the period 2013 – 2018.

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This disease may be difficult to stop due to the easy spread of the virus through food and beverages. In addition, environments with poor hygiene quality also have high rates of hepatitis A virus infection.

With such conditions, children are the age group most susceptible to HAV infection with a percentage of 90 percent, reported by the WHO report.

However, infection does not always cause health problems. The reason is, children who are infected do not necessarily experience disturbing symptoms.

The cause of this disease is the hepatitis A virus. This virus can spread easily through the consumption of food or drink that has been contaminated with the feces of people with hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is classified as acute hepatitis, meaning that this disease will generally recover in less than 6 months.

Hepatitis A Risk Factors

A person is more susceptible to hepatitis A if they have the following conditions:

  • Visiting or living in an area with a high prevalence of hepatitis A.
  • Having sex with people with hepatitis A.
  • Live with someone with hepatitis A.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

Symptoms of hepatitis A appear several weeks after the patient is infected with the virus. The most common symptom of hepatitis A sufferers is a change in the color of their eyes and skin to yellow. But before the onset of jaundice, sufferers may experience:

  • Fever
  • Weak
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Urine color becomes dark
  • The color of the stool becomes pale

Hepatitis A Treatment

Hepatitis A will heal by itself because the patient’s immune system can eradicate the virus. Treatment is given only to relieve the symptoms experienced by the sufferer, while waiting for the disease to heal.

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In addition, it is important for sufferers to maintain cleanliness to prevent transmission to others. Patients who recover will have immunity against this disease.

Complications of Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A infection does not cause long-term (chronic) liver disease and is rarely fatal. However, this disease has the potential to cause liver failure, especially in the elderly and people who have had chronic liver disease before.

Hepatitis A Prevention

Hepatitis A can be prevented in several ways, including:

Get vaccinated against hepatitis A

Keeping yourself and the environment clean

Avoid consuming raw or undercooked food

Causes of Hepatitis A

The main way of spread is through food or drink that has been contaminated with feces of people with hepatitis A. Some hazard factors that can growth the unfold of this virus consist of:

  • Poor sanitation.
  • Direct contact with the sufferer.
  • Sharing needles.
  • Having se x with a person, especially ana l se x.
  • Men who have sex with other men.
  • Work in areas that come into contact with dirt, such as sewers.