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Hepatitis A

Hepatitas

Hepatitis A: is common in places where water supplies and sewage disposal are of a low standard, and where personal / food hygiene standards are poor. Southern and Eastern Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle and Far East are high-risk areas.

Transmission Hepatitis A is passed from person to person by eating food or drinking water contaminated (infected) with the virus. The illness can spread easily within families and where people live closely together. Therefore washing hands is paramount in preventing the spread.

The virus is passed out in the bowel motions of an infected person, which is why it is important to wash your hands after going to the toilet. Drinking water can be contaminated with the virus, consequently the water should either always be boiled first or bottled water should be purchased.

Fruit, vegetables and uncooked food washed in contaminated water can cause infection, especially in hot countries. If you are choosing the salad ensure you are at a reputable restaurant. Shellfish can be infected if it comes from sea contaminated with sewage, so beware of uncooked or undercooked seafood. Cooked food is safe, but can be contaminated if it has been handled by someone with the virus.

Symptoms:

The incubation for this is from 2-6 weeks after infection .Mild flu like symptoms initially occurs- sometimes weight loss, diarrhoea and vomiting developing into jaundice ( yellow skin and whites of eyes) with pale faeces and dark urine. Sometimes itchy skin and joint pain can also occur.

Treatment:

There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis A . Getting adequate bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids is the best treatment. Most people recover spontaneously and completely and do not require further treatment. It is recommended that alcohol and certain toxic substances to the liver like fats initially should be avoided.  Once you have had Hepatitis A you will have a natural immunity from it.

Please Note: The information provided here should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A medical practitioner should always be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions.

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