How is hepatitis A spread?[change | change source]
When a person has hepatitis A, the virus stays in their feces. Hepatitis A is usually spread by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with infected feces. For example, hepatitis A can be spread by:
- Using ice that was made from contaminated water
- Eating fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are not cooked, which may have gotten contaminated when a person with hepatitis A prepared them
- Foods that are not cooked are more likely to spread hepatitis A because cooking food will kill the virus
- Eating shellfish that lived in contaminated water, and were not cooked well enough to kill the virus
Signs and symptoms[change | change source]
- Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Anorexia (loss of the desire to eat)
Treatment and prognosis[change | change source]
There is no medication that can cure hepatitis A. In most cases, the infection resolves on its own. In most cases, symptoms last less than 2 months, although some people are sick for as long as six months.
Unfortunately, a small number of patients develop Fulminant hepatic failure, which is very serious.
Prevention[change | change source]
A vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis A, and anti-hepatitis A immunoglobulin is also used.
References[change | change source]
- "Hepatitis A: Questions and Answers for the Public". www.cdc.gov. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). December 22, 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/afaq.htm#transmission. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
- Mayo clinic: Hepatitis symptoms