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Overview of Hepatitis A

By on June 28, 2012 in Diseases with 0 Comments


What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The inflammation causes pain and swelling. Hepatitis can be caused by many factors. Generally, hepatitis is caused by one of the 5 hepatitis (A, B, C, D or E). All types of hepatitis cause inflammation of the liver, which interferes with the ability to function. The lack of blood supply to the liver, poison, autoimmune disorders, excessive consumption of alcohol, a lesion in the liver and taking certain medications can also cause hepatitis. Less commonly, viral infections such as mononucleosis or cytomegalovirus can cause hepatitis.

There are 2 main types of hepatitis: acute hepatitis (short term) and chronic hepatitis (lasting at least 6 months). If you have acute hepatitis, the liver may become inflamed in a very sudden, and you may have nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever and body aches. Or, you may have no symptoms. Most people recover from acute inflammation in a few days or a few weeks.

However, sometimes the inflammation does not go away. When the inflammation does not go away in 6 months, the person has chronic hepatitis.

How does the hepatitis affect the liver?

The liver decomposes the waste products in the blood. When the liver is inflamed, it performs well the task of eliminating waste products. A waste product in the blood, called bilirubin, begins to accumulate in the blood and tissues when the liver is not functioning properly. The bilirubin makes the skin of a person who has hepatitis acquires a yellowish orange. This is called jaundice. It is also possible that bilirubin and other waste products cause itching, nausea, fever and body aches.

What is hepatitis A?

There are 5 viruses that cause hepatitis. Each hepatitis virus is so named with a letter of the alphabet: hepatitis A, hepatitis B , hepatitis C ,hepatitis D and hepatitis E. Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A causes liver inflammation, causing pain and swelling. Hepatitis A is different from other types of hepatitis because, generally, is not as severe and does not develop into chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis, as can happen with hepatitis B and C.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis A?

The hepatitis A, usually present in the system during one month before symptoms appear.

When symptoms appear, they can do so suddenly and include:

  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
  • Low-grade fever (fever up to 102 ° F).
  • Fatigue.
  • Pain in the abdomen, especially on the right side.
  • Dark-colored urine.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Itching.

It is important to remember that some people with hepatitis A never develop any symptoms.

Young children are more likely to have very mild cases of hepatitis A, while it is more likely that symptoms in older children and adults to be serious.

How long will the contagious period be?

Its most contagious period is shortly after contracting the infection and before the onset of symptoms. In adults who, otherwise healthy, the infectious period ends 2 weeks after the onset of the disease. In children and people with weak immune systems, the contagious period can last up to 6 months.


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