Hepatitis A (hep A) is an infection of the liver by a particular virus. It is important to be aware of this condition, particularly if you want to travel to a location where it is endemic. The information provided here should give you a good understanding of what hepatitis A is.

Focusing on Causes in Hepatitis A Causes, Symptoms, Signs, and Treatments:

Hep A is caused by drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated foods and it is spread through fecal matter. It can be found on vegetables, fruits, and other foodstuffs that were handled by a contaminated person. It may also be found in raw shellfish that lives in contaminated water. Lastly, it is often spread through contaminated rice.

Focusing on Symptoms and Signs in Hepatitis A Causes, Symptoms, Signs, and Treatments:

If you are infected with hep A, your liver will become inflamed. With the hepatitis A virus,  this generally means that the severity of signs and symptoms vary, depending on the patient. In fact, some people never experience any at all. If you do, however, the following are the most common:

– Stomach pain

– Jaundice (skin and eyes turn yellow, urine turns dark)

– Nausea

– Loss of appetite

– Fever

– Fatigue

– Diarrhea

Children, meanwhile, tend not to experience any symptoms. The virus is contagious from about two weeks before you start to show symptoms. In the first week of having symptoms, noticeable or not, you will continue to be contagious.

There are certain risk factors to be aware of with this infection, with certain people being more likely to catch it. These include:

– Those who cohabit or have intercourse with an infected person

– Those who travel to areas endemic to hepatitis A

– Homosexual males

– Drug users who use intravenous injections

– Children in child care, as well as the teachers

Through a blood test, hepatitis A can easily be diagnosed, after which treatment can be devised. Usually, however, the virus doesn't cause any complications or long term problems. That said, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that around 10% to 15% of those who are diagnosed will remain symptomatic for a long time. Additionally, it is common for the symptoms to come back for a period of six to nine months. The most common complication, although it is very rare for this to happen, is liver failure, requiring patients to have a transplant.

Focusing on Treatments in Hepatitis A Causes, Symptoms, Signs, and Treatments:

There is no treatment to cure hepatitis A at this time. Rather, your liver function will be regularly tested to make sure it is working properly. If it is, then your body has started to heal. It is also recommended that certain population groups opt to get the hep A vaccine. These include:

– Those who travel to endemic areas

– Homosexual males

– Those who have an issue with blood clotting

– Those who use illegal substances intravenously

– Those who already have lengthy liver disease

Prevention is the most important thing, however. If you know you were in contact with someone who has hep A, you can receive immune globulin within two weeks of contact to prevent you from getting the illness. Maintaining excellent hygiene after manually handling anything is equally important.