Hepatitis A: What Is it, Symptoms, and Prevention

Hepatitis Symptoms

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that affects the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus, a member of the family of picornaviruses. It is the most common form of viral hepatitis and the only one transmitted rarely from one person to another through contaminated food or water, contact with an infected person, or by other routes. Symptoms usually appear within a month of exposure and range from none to a mild illness that may last up to several months.

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What Are the Symptoms of Hepatitis A?

Common signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, feeling of malaise, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, and joint pain. Symptoms may appear two to seven weeks after exposure and may last up to two months or longer.

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Prevention and Health

The best way to prevent the spread of hepatitis A is to practice good hygiene, such as regularly washing your hands. It’s also important to make sure food and beverages are properly handled and cooked, and to avoid drinking water or eating food from unknown sources. Vaccination is also available and highly recommended for those at risk of infection, such as young children, those travelling to areas with a high prevalence of hepatitis A, and people with compromised immune systems. The vaccine is safe and highly effective, providing lasting protection against the virus.

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