Hepatitis A

21:54 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Hepatitis A?

It is inflammation of the liver caused by a highly contagious viral infection that impairs liver function.

The hepatitis A virus is contracted by having contact with sick people, touching infected surfaces and objects, or consuming contaminated food and drinks.

Due to its viral nature, there is no specific treatment, so the body fights the infection until it is eradicated without leaving sequels or irreversible damage, contrary to types B and C.

The most effective ways to prevent it are the application of the vaccine to people at risk of exposure and maintaining constant hand hygiene.

Symptoms

The characteristic symptoms usually appear two or three weeks after infection, although on some occasions, there may be asymptomatic cases.

The most frequent symptoms are:

  • High fever.
  • Dark urine
  • Aching joints.
  • Jaundice.
  • Itch.
  • Tiredness.
  • Weakness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Sore abdomen, especially on the right side.
  • Discolored stools.
  • Lack of appetite.

These symptoms usually disappear in three or four weeks, although there are cases where the infection is serious and can last five or six months.

How to prevent it:

The best way to prevent hepatitis A is by applying the corresponding vaccine, which consists of a double dose: the initial one and a booster six months after the first dose.

Vaccine application is recommended, especially in the following cases:

  • Having multiple sexual partners.
  • Drug addicts.
  • Patients with liver diseases such as hepatitis B and C.
  • Travel to places where there are high rates of hepatitis A.
  • Having been in contact with infected people.
  • Hospital and laboratory staff.

Diagnosis and treatment

Once the doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination, in addition to requesting a blood test to identify the viral load and check liver function.

As it is a viral disease, there is no treatment available, but it is simply a matter of waiting for your body to fight the infection and eradicate it from your body. In six months maximum, the liver recovers completely without leaving sequelae.

As an adjuvant, the doctor could prescribe medications to control the symptoms, also recommending rest and adequate hydration.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • cun.es
  • topdoctors.es
  • cigna.com
  • medigraphic.com
  • Trujillo-Ochoa JL, Viera-Segura O, Fierro NA. Challenges in Management of Hepatitis A Virus Epidemiological Transition in Mexico. Ann Hepatol. 2019;18(1):14-22.
  • Benjamin M, Agnihotry S, Srivastava A, et al. Relationship of Severity of Hepatitis A with Polymorphisms in Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 1 (HAVCR1) Gene. Ann Hepatol. 2018;17(4):561-568.
  • Barrientos-Gutiérrez T, Brizuela-Alcántara D, Chávez-Tapia NC. Hepatitis A virus infection in high-risk subjects. Ann Hepatol. 2011;10(4):578-579.
  • Cabrera-Gaytán DA, Nava-Martínez ML, Ontiveros D, et al. Experiencia en la atención de un brote de hepatitis A en una guardería infantil. Rev Med Inst Mex Seguro Soc. 2014;52(6):330-336.

						
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