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Hepatitis A Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention


Hepatitis occurs when the liver, which performs important functions such as metabolism of various metabolism and hormones, secretion of bile acids and detoxification, which are essential functions in the body, occurs due to various causes in cells and tissues. Hepatitis A refers to hepatitis caused by hepatitis A virus, which is a type of hepatitis virus, and has the characteristic that it usually occurs in an acute form.

The most common cause of hepatitis A is oral infection with contaminated water or drinking water. In addition, several factors such as unsanitary environment and poor and inappropriate food handling are also known to have a significant influence on the occurrence. In addition, as the cause of infection through contaminated drinking water and food is large, it is reported that the number of cases occurring not only in individuals but also in groups is high.

As hepatitis A has many hygiene-related infections, there was a high perception in the past that it mainly occurs in underdeveloped countries with poor personal hygiene management. However, the incidence rate is high among those in their 20s and 30s, who have improved sanitary conditions through economic development. there is. Now, let’s take a look at the major symptoms of hepatitis A, as well as various information on treatment and prevention.

Hepatitis A main symptoms

It is known that hepatitis A symptoms do not appear immediately after being introduced into the body, and symptoms usually appear after an incubation period of 4 weeks. Systemic symptoms such as severe fatigue, fever, pain in the right upper abdomen, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, etc., may be accompanied by itching and yellowing of the eyes within a week. In addition, dark urine similar to cola color and discolored stools that have turned white are also one of the main symptoms when hepatitis A occurs. When jaundice occurs, the systemic symptoms that previously appeared gradually disappear, and the jaundice symptoms continue for about 2 weeks.

Although hepatitis A occurs in children, it is often asymptomatic or passes without being recognized because of its mild symptoms. However, if it occurs in an acute form in the age group of 20 years or older, it not only accompanies various symptoms mentioned above, but also may require hospitalization if the symptoms worsen. In addition, the risk of complications such as acute pancreatitis, acute renal failure, and recurrent hepatitis, including acute liver failure, increases. can lead to Therefore, it is important to get early diagnosis and examination when symptoms suggestive of an outbreak appear.

Hepatitis A Treatment and Prevention

1. Diagnosis and examination

Hepatitis A is diagnosed accurately by performing clinical tests such as systemic symptoms and jaundice, as well as blood tests to confirm liver function test values ​​and anti-hepatitis A virus immunoglobulin M antibody test. If the immunoglobulin M antibody test is positive, hepatitis A is confirmed. Although this immunoglobulin M antibody test is very accurate in diagnosing acute hepatitis A, there is a possibility that it will come out negative in the early stages of infection. there is. Afterwards, during the hepatitis A recovery phase, an immunoglobulin G antibody test is performed to confirm the formation of antibodies. Hepatitis A has not yet been developed with a drug that can be completely cured, so alleviating symptoms through symptomatic therapy is the main treatment method. However, if the symptoms are severe and complications are concerned, it is very important to receive specialized treatment through hospitalization.

2. Vaccination

It is known that there is no specific treatment method for hepatitis A, but it is said to be effective in preventing the occurrence of hepatitis A if vaccinated in advance. Although there is a slight difference depending on the type of vaccine, it is said that more than 95% of the preventive effect is obtained if the additional vaccine is administered 6 to 12 months or 6 to 18 months after the vaccination. The protective effect of these vaccinations is said to be in infants and children over 2 years of age, and in adults who have not been exposed to the virus. In addition, if you are a long-term resident or traveler in a hepatitis A epidemic area, and occupational groups that are relatively easily exposed to the risk of hepatitis A outbreak, such as researchers, food service providers, and military personnel, you can check the presence of antibodies and vaccinate. is said to be important.

3. Personal hygiene management

Since hepatitis A is a disease that has a high probability of being transmitted through the mouth through the hands of the virus through specific contaminated factors, careful management of personal hygiene is very important in preventing it in advance. It is important to wash your hands thoroughly after going out, using the bathroom, and before cooking.

And since the hepatitis A virus disappears even if it is boiled for 1 minute at 85℃ or higher, it is said that it is very helpful to prevent it in advance just by drinking boiled water or eating food that has been cooked sufficiently.

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