Hepatitis - A
What is Hepatitis A or E ?
It is a virus that infects the liver causing inflammation of the liver
How is the infection acquired?
Hepatitis A or E is spread primarily through food or water contaminated by feces from an infected person.
Who is at risk for hepatitis A or E?
International travelers, particularly those traveling to developing countries.
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis A or E ?
- Stomach upset
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain, Diarrhoea
- Dark yellow urine
- Light colored stool
- Yellowish eye & skin called jaundice
How is Hepatitis Aor E diagnosed?
Blood will show if you have hepatitis A or E ( HAV IgM or HEV IgM)
How is Hepatitis A or E treated?
- Hepatitis A or E usually gets better in a few weeks without any specific antiviral treatment.
- Symptomatic treatment is given for itching, nausea, vomting due to jaundice. Patient is encouraged to drink bolied water and home cooked food. Avoid medications unless prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.
- Small percentage of patients, Hepatitis A or E (1% ) will develop acute liver failure.
- In pregnant patient with hepatitis E the risk of acute liver failure is 20%.
How can Hepatitis A and E be prevented ?
Sometimes history and clinical examination alone can raise suspicion of the diagnosis. However tests are done to confirm the same.
- The hepatitis A vaccine offers immunity to adults and children older than age 1. In India most people are exposed early and therefore vaccination is not routinely recommended.
- No vaccine for Hepatitis E , however research is ongoing.
- Avoiding tap water when travelling internationally.
- Practising good hygiene and sanitation also help prevent hepatitis A or E.