Hepatitis A (HAV)
Hepatitis A (HAV) - Hep A
Hepatitis A (HAV) is predominantly spread by coming into contact with the feces (poop) of an infected person.
Hepatitis A will often occur as a form of food poisoning if an infected person uses the bathroom and does not wash their hands properly before handling food.
It is also possible for hepatitis A to be spread through sexual contact although this is relatively rare, however the virus can survive outside the human body for several hours and therefore close sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A may result in the infection being spread, particularly if anal sex is practiced.
At risk from hepatitis A are those people whose work or lifestyle brings them into contact with infected people or animals.
Infection with hepatitis A, although serious, does not develop into the long-term form (chronic) of the disease although some people who contract it may be ill for a period of several months.
Hepatitis A Symptoms
Symptoms of hepatitis A may include any, or all, of the following:
- flu-like symptoms
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eye)
- loss of appetite
- abdominal pain
Hepatitis A Treatment
Hepatitis A treatment consists mainly on prevention through vaccination and of course, good hygiene practices. Vaccination is recommended if you plan on traveling to a part of the world where hepatitis A is common, or if your choice of lifestyle puts you at high risk of coming into contact with the virus, such as men who have sex with men, injecting drug users or consumers of street drugs.