Hepatitis A is a liver infection spread through an infected person’s stool. The condition can be unpleasant but not usually severe; often, people make a full recovery within months. Some people, especially children, may not have any symptoms, but it can occasionally last for months, and in some instances, it may be life-threatening. In the worst scenario, hepatitis A causes liver failure. A vaccine is available if you are at high risk of developing the infection.
Hepatitis A symptoms
The symptoms of hepatitis A can develop over an average of four weeks after being infected, but not everyone will have visible signs. If they do, the symptoms include:
- Feeling unwell and tired.
- Muscle and joint pain.
- High body temperature.
- Loss of appetite.
- Pain in the upper right abdomen.
- Jaundice (yellowing eyes and skin).
- Dark urination or pale stool.
- Itchy skin.
Hepatitis A causes
- Eating food prepared for people with the infection.
- Drinking contaminated water.
- Consumed undercooked or raw shellfish from contaminated water.
- Close contact with people with hepatitis A.
- Having intercourse with someone with hepatitis A or injecting drugs using contaminated equipment.
Hepatitis A treatments
There is currently no particular cure for hepatitis A, but it often gets better on its own in a couple of months. There are ways for you to look after yourself from your home, like:
- Get a lot of rest.
- Intake painkillers for aches and pain, but consult your doctor before consuming any medicine since you may need lower doses than usual and to avoid certain medications that can turn harmful.
- Stay in a well-ventilated environment, wear loose clothes, and avoid hot showers or baths to lower any itching.
- Eat small meals to reduce the vomiting and nausea.
- Avoid alcohol consumption to lower the strain on your liver.
- Avoid people contact or intercourse at least for a week after your jaundice or symptoms begin.
- Practice good hygiene, like wash your hands with water and soap regularly.
Consult a doctor if your symptoms are being troublesome or have not improved after two months.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 23 JUNE 2022