Hepatitis A is a liver-associated disease that is one of the contagious types of disease in hepatitis caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). As we already know the word “hepatitis” means inflammation related to liver/ disease related to the Liver. Scientists suggest that HAV was discovered almost 2000 years ago when it has affected almost the whole world, especially the continent of Asia and Africa. One of the most important things to notice is that in the modern world the spread of hepatitis A is less due to improving sanitary conditions and sewerage systems. Secondly, improvement in vaccination also helped the human being to prevent hepatitis A.
Structure of Hepatitis A virus :
Hepatitis A has a very simple structure and it is why it can be controlled easily. Hepatitis structure has:
- Non-envelope covering.
- Single-stranded + RNA.
- No polymerase.
- Single serotype.
- Family: Picornavirus.
- Baltimore classification: IV
- Have a brief viremic period.
How is hepatitis A transmitted?
Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus which structure is important for its spread. It is a non-enveloped virus. This virus spread and infects the human body by the fecal-oral route. The fecal oral route means that this virus spread through contaminated food and contaminated water through the mouth and anus. The contamination of water and food can happen due to the breakage of sewerage lines and poor sanitation procedures. Sometimes, Hepatitis A is also transmitted when you have sexual contact with a person having a virus. Some people also think that this virus also spreads with close contact like shaking hands and also in living in the same room. So, relax it doesn’t spread through sneezing, coughing and, shaking hands.
Hepatitis A has a brief viremic period. It means that this virus causes its infection very brief time. It travels from stomach to liver and causes infection in the liver. When the viral copies start to form in the liver then the actual symptoms appear.
Symptoms of hepatitis A:
After the entry of the virus into the stomach, the virus replicates in the GI tract and then spreads to the liver during a brief viremic period. The virus is not cytopathic for the hepatocyte. Hepatocellular injury is caused by an immune attack by cytotoxic T cells. This is just the pathogenesis of the Hepatitis A virus. The symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain.
- Frequent nausea and vomiting.
- Jaundice (one of the major symptoms).
- Dark-colored eyes and urine.
- Dark-colored bowel.
- Severe pain in jaundice.
- Loss of appetite due to the increase in viral load.
The sign and symptoms of hepatitis A are severe in adults and at the age of more than 30 but in children, these symptoms are less common. That is why hepatitis A is less common in children than adults and according to a study, 70% of adults are affected by hepatitis A disease.
All of the hepatitis viruses are been detected almost the same way, yet For HAV we use special types of KITS in which we check the antibodies specially IGM which is the primary antibody. These are detected through immunochromatographic technique in which antigen is coated on kits while we check the cross-reactivity by the presence of antibodies.
Sometimes the presence of the hepatitis A virus is done through Reverse transcriptase PCR (RT PCR) in which we detect the Nucleic acid of the virus which is RNA. But you have to care too much while handling this virus.
There is no other test recommended by Experts to detect HAV in blood.
Hepatitis A treatment:
Specific treatment against Hepatitis A is not present yet; means there is no antiviral therapy against Hepatitis A. you have to just maintain the symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, and more specifically Nausea and Vomiting from severity. Basically, hepatitis A always cures itself in 6 months with complete liver recovery but sometimes when chronic hepatitis A occurs, the liver becomes damage so the patient has to go for a liver transplant but it is rare as hepatitis A is less fatal than other Hepatitis Viruses.
Hepatitis A prevention:
There is no antiviral drug therapy. Injectable hepatitis A vaccine is available for the prevention of the virus. These Vaccines include the virus that has been destroyed. Immune globulin can be given during the incubation phase to help prevent the disease. The vaccine is so efficient that even if the vaccine is administrated within two weeks of exposure can prevent you from hepatitis A. One of the most important things to read is people think that vaccines can be risky for hepatitis A but it is not true. Vaccine always contain killed pathogen so it is very much efficient against the prevention of hepatitis A
Other prevention is during the symptoms and may be advised by doctors as well.
- One and foremost prevention is to avoid unnecessary medication such as brufen and panadol etc.
- Do not use alcohol and alcohol-based syrup as it may directly Act on the liver might cause serious discomfort.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration during severe vomiting.
- Eat fresh fruit and vegetable and do not eat uncooked food.
- Keep your lifestyle healthy as far as possible as it may not prevent you only from Hepatitis A, but might prevent you from other serious diseases.
Risk factors for hepatitis A:
People may take it for granted that doctors always say that hepatitis A will recover itself but they do not listen that it has risk factors associated with it that also should be monitored. Such as people do normal routine work in Hepatitis A which is wrong to do so because your body needs complete rest while fighting with a virus. Moreover, people also eat every time thinking that eating will make them healthier but they don’t know that eating also can cause other symptoms to follow up such as eating too much can cause abdominal cramps and pain. So you have to ask your nutritionist that what to eat and what time is better to eat.
What is hepatitis A?
As we already know the word hepatitis means disease related to the Liver. Hepatitis A is a liver-associated disease in which the human liver is infected and can cause serious symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting and nausea, and fever.
What causes hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is hepatocyte associated disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is a non-enveloped virus present in contaminated food and contaminated water and causes disease when this virus enters the body via the fecal-oral route.
How do you get hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is transmitted, spread, and infects a human body by the fecal-oral route. The fecal oral route means that this virus spread through contaminated food and contaminated water through the mouth and anus. The contamination of water and food can is due to breakage of sewerage lines and poor sanitation.
Conclusion and Doctors Recommendation:
Hepatitis A was discovered almost 2000 years ago when people were unknown about the fact that there is a small creature that can affect your liver as well such as Virus. But as far as medical sciences grown-up people came to know about hepatitis is some disease that can affect you and your liver. HAV continues to infect millions of people every year around the world, causing temporary impairment but seldom liver failure with considerable medical costs. Improvements in socioeconomic and sanitary circumstances, on the other hand, are leading to a decrease in infection rates and herd immunity against HAV in many countries.
Although HAV rates in the United States have decreased by 95% from 1996 to 2011, a paradoxical increase in HAV infections was noted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to CLD During the last four decades, significant progress has been achieved in understanding the genomic organization, molecular epidemiology, diagnosis, and prevention of HAV infection.