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What are the Symptoms of Hepatitis a?

Article Details
  • Written By: M.R. Anglin
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 20 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Some of the symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, muscle ache, jaundice, and itchy skin. A person may also experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Hepatitis A is liver inflammation caused by the hepatitis A virus. This virus can be transmitted through the fecal matter of infected humans. The good news is that the symptoms of hepatitis A often clear up by themselves, and a person is immune to the virus after he has battled it.

The symptoms of hepatitis A usually show up between two and six weeks after a person is infected by the virus. For most people, these symptoms will clear up within two months with nothing more than bed rest. Some people may not experience any symptoms, while others may experience a plethora. Young children, for example, are more likely to show mild or no symptoms, while an adult will show more severe symptoms in most cases. Jaundice as a result of hepatitis A is also more likely to be experienced by adults and older children than by younger children and babies.

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Jaundice is one of the symptoms of hepatitis A that is common to many forms of hepatitis. When red blood cells die, the breakdown of hemoglobin can produce bilirubin, a substance that is usually processed or discarded by the liver. If the liver is inflamed, however, it may not be able to get rid of bilirubin effectively, and it can build up in the body. The buildup of bilirubin can result in a person’s skin and eyes developing a yellow color.

Other symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, muscle pain, and abdominal pain. A person may also experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition, a person with hepatitis A may not feel like eating and may lose weight. Itchy skin may also be a symptom. A person may also experience mild symptoms that look like the flu.

Hepatitis A is a contagious disease, but it cannot usually be transmitted through casual contact. It is usually carried through human feces, and can be transmitted when that feces comes in contact with the mouth. In countries where sanitary conditions or sewers are inadequate, hepatitis A can run rampant. Hepatitis A can be transmitted if a person eats contaminated food, and it also can be sexually transmitted, particularly during oral sex.

Proper hygiene is key in helping to prevent hepatitis A. A person should always wash his hands after going to the bathroom and before cooking or preparing food. It is also a good idea to practice safer sex practices, such as using a condom. There is also a vaccine available that can help protect a person from hepatitis A. Once a person experiences the disease, however, he is immune for life.

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