What is Hepatitis A? Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It can cause inflammation of the liver and lead to severe liver damage. Symptoms may include fever, abdominal pain, jaundice, fatigue, and loss of appetite. If left untreated, it can be fatal in some cases.

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What is Hepatitis A?

This is a viral liver infection cause by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It causes liver inflammation and spreads through dirty water and food.. Symptoms may include fever, abdominal pain, jaundice, fatigue, and loss of appetite. In some cases, it can be fatal if left untreated. However, most people make a full recovery with medical treatment.


The signs and symptoms of hepatitis A usually begin within 28 days after exposure. They may include fever, fatigue, jaundice, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort or pain, nausea, dark-colored urine, and pale stools. Other less common symptoms can include joint pain and a general feeling of being unwell.


Disease is caused by the hepatitis A virus, which is most often spread through contact with contaminated food or water. This contamination can happen when an infected person does not properly wash their hands after going to the bathroom and touches food or beverages. Foods that are most likely contaminated include raw shellfish, fruits, vegetables, and salads. The virus may also spread through close contact with an infected person such as through kissing, or touching utensils, or towels used by an infected person.


Hepatitis A can be diagnosis with a physical exam, blood tests, and a stool sample. The doctor will take into account the patient’s risk factors, such as recent travel or contact with an infected person, in order to confirm the diagnosis. Blood tests can detect high levels of hepatitis A virus antibody to help determine if the infection is acute or chronic. If necessary, a stool test may be useing to determine the presence of the virus and its strain.


It is usually a self-limiting virus, meaning that symptoms usually resolve on their own after about two months. Treatment options for hepatitis A include rest, fluids, and medication to help with the pain, discomfort and fever. No antiviral drugs treat hepatitis A. Drugs can treat nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. If you suspect viral exposure, get medical help immediately.

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