Tuesday, May 14, 2024

How Do You Contract Hepatitis A

How Is Hepatitis Diagnosed

How Do You Get Hepatitis A?

Chronic hepatitis can quietly attack the liver for years without causing any symptoms. Unless the infection is diagnosed, monitored, and treated, many of these people will eventually have serious liver damage. Fortunately, blood tests can determine whether you have viral hepatitis, and if so, which kind.

How Does A Person Get Hepatitis

A person can get hepatitis A through the following sources:

  • Food or water contaminated with the fecal matter of an infected person
  • Sexual contact

A person can get hepatitis B in many ways, which include:

  • Having sexual contact with an infected person
  • Sharing needles
  • Being in direct contact with an infected persons blood
  • Transferred from mother to the fetus
  • Getting an infected needle prick
  • Being in contact with an infected persons body fluid

A person can get hepatitis C through:

  • Sharing infected needles
  • Being in direct contact with an infected persons blood
  • Getting an infected needle prick
  • Having sexual contact with an infected person

Hepatitis D can be spread through:

  • Transferred from mother to the fetus
  • Being in contact with the infected fluid or blood
  • A person can get hepatitis D only if they are infected previously with hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E mainly infects people who eat or drink food or water contaminated with the virus. Under-cooked foods can also spread hepatitis E. It is more dangerous in pregnant women.

How Common Is Hepatitis A

In the United States, hepatitis A has become relatively uncommon. After the hepatitis A vaccine became available in 1995, the rate of hepatitis A infections declined by 95 percent in the United States. The number of reported cases of hepatitis A fell to 1,239 in 2014, the lowest yearly number of cases reported since the disease could be tracked.1 However, the number of reported cases increased to 3,366 in 2017, almost 3 times higher, mostly due to outbreaks among people who use drugs and people experiencing homelessness.1 Early reports suggest that the numbers of cases and outbreaks of hepatitis A increased further during 2018 and continue at these higher rates in 2019.2

Hepatitis A is more common in developing countries where sanitation is poor and access to clean water is limited. Hepatitis A is more common in parts of Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and Eastern Europe than it is in the United States.

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Can Hepatitis B Be Prevented Or Avoided

The best way to prevent hepatitis B is to always have protected sex and, if you use intravenous drugs, avoid sharing needles.

A vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis B. It is now routinely given in the first year of life to all newborn infants. It is safe and requires 3 shots over a 6-month period. This vaccine should be given to people who are at high risk for this illness, such as healthcare workers, all children, people who travel to areas where the infection is widespread, drug users, and those who have multiple sex partners.

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What Treatments Are Available For Chronic Hepatitis B If Medications Dont Work


If you have advanced hepatitis B, you might also become a candidate for a liver transplant. This path does not always result in a cure because the virus continues in your bloodstream after a transplant. To prevent being infected again after your transplant, you may be prescribed hepatitis B immunoglobulin with an antiviral agent.

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Hepatitis A And B Vaccines

There are vaccines to protect against hepatitis A and B. The CDC recommends hepatitis A vaccination for all children ages 12 to 23 months and for adults who plan to travel or work in areas with hepatitis A outbreaks or who have other risk factors. People with chronic hepatitis B or C should also get the hepatitis A vaccine if they don’t already have immunity to the disease. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all infants at birth and for adults who have any of the risk factors we discussed earlier. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

Hepatitis A Immunisation Is Recommended For High

In Victoria, the vaccine is recommended for:

  • people travelling to places where hepatitis A is common
  • people whose work puts them at increased risk of infection including:
  • plumbers and sewage workers
  • people who work with children
  • people who work with people with developmental disabilities
  • people with developmental disabilities
  • people with liver disease or people who have had a liver transplant or have chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • people who have anal intercourse
  • people who inject drugs
  • inmates of correctional facilities .
  • Remember that immunisation against hepatitis A does not protect you against hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

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    Vaccination Against Hepatitis A

    Vaccination against hepatitis A is not routinely offered in the UK because the risk of infection is low for most people.

    It’s only recommended for people at an increased risk, including:

    • close contacts of someone with hepatitis A
    • people planning to travel to or live in parts of the world where hepatitis A is widespread, particularly if sanitation and food hygiene are expected to be poor
    • people with any type of long-term liver disease
    • men who have sex with other men
    • people who inject illegal drugs
    • people who may be exposed to hepatitis A through their job this includes sewage workers, people who work for organisations where personal hygiene may be poor, such as a homeless shelter, and people working with monkeys, apes and gorillas

    The hepatitis A vaccine is usually available for free on the NHS for anyone who needs it.

    Living With Hepatitis B

    How Do You Catch Hepatitis?

    Risk of chronic infection caused by hepatitis B is related to your age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection . Approximately 90% of infected infants become chronically infected compared with 2%-6% of adult, reports the CDC.

    Chronic hepatitis B infection can lead to serious health issues. If you have it, you should be monitored regularly by a doctor. This means you should check in with your doctor at least once or twice a year. Some people who have chronic hepatitis B infection require medicine, but others do not. Your doctor can discuss treatment options with you.

    If you have chronic hepatitis B infection, it will likely stay in your blood and liver for a lifetime, according to The Hepatitis B Foundation. This means that you could pass the virus to others, even if you dont feel sick.

    The most important thing to remember is that hepatitis B is a chronic medical condition that can be successfully managed if you take good care of your health and your liver, reports the Hepatitis B Foundation. You should expect to live a long, full life.

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    What Causes Hepatitis A And How Is It Contracted

    People develop hepatitis A infection after contracting HAV. This virus is typically transmitted by ingesting food or liquid contaminated with fecal matter that contains the virus. Once transmitted, the virus spreads through the bloodstream to the liver, where it causes inflammation and swelling.

    In addition to transmission from eating food or drinking water containing HAV, the virus can also be spread by close personal contact with an infected person. HAV is contagious, and a person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others living in the same household.

    You can contract hepatitis A by:

    • eating food prepared by someone with the hepatitis A virus
    • eating food handled by preparers who dont follow strict hand-washing routines before touching food that you eat
    • eating sewage-contaminated raw shellfish
    • not using condoms when having sex with someone who has the hepatitis A virus
    • drinking polluted water
    • coming in contact with hepatitis A-infected fecal matter

    If you contract the virus, you will be contagious two weeks before symptoms even appear. The contagious period will end about one week after symptoms appear.

    How To Prevent Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by a virus . It can be serious and theres no cure, but the good news is its easy to prevent. You can protect yourself by getting the hepatitis B vaccine and having safer sex. If you have oral, anal, and vaginal sex, use condoms and dental dams to help stop the spread of hepatitis B and other STDs.

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    Looking After Yourself When You Have Hepatitis A

    AlcoholSome people with acute hepatitis develop an aversion to alcohol in the acute phase. Previously people with this condition were told to avoid alcohol for six months following the illness. This advice is no longer thought necessary.

    SmokingSmoking is dangerous to everyones health. Smoking can increase the severity of liver damage. People with liver disease are more vulnerable to infection and to poor health overall, so smoking or exposure to passive smoking is not advisable.

    DietIf you have a short-term hepatitis infection, for example hepatitis A, you should try to eat a normal diet. However, some people may need extra nutrition to prevent unplanned weight loss, and may benefit from a high-energy and high-protein diet. A dietitian can advise on this.

    If you develop nausea and vomiting, our coping with eating difficulties may help. Read more here.

    How Do You Contract Hepatitis C

    What is Hepatitis A ? How it spreads ? How to Diagnose and ...

    Whats in this article

    • What is Hepatitis C?
    • How do you contract hepatitis C?
    • Diagnosis

    What is hepatitis C?Hepatitis C is a disease that is caused by a virus that infects the liver and if left untreated it can lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and even liver failure. Many people who have the disease may not even know they do until there has been liver damage. Hepatitis C can be acute or chronic and only 15% or less of people who contract hepatitis C will defeat the virus with their immune system. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, in 2009, there were around 16,000 reported cases of acute hepatitis C in the United States. There are around 3.2 million people in the United States who are living with chronic hepatitis C.

    Signs and symptomsThere are not always obvious signs and symptoms of hepatitis C so if you think you may have come into contact with or contracted the disease then it is important to get checked.

    In early stages, symptoms may include:

    • Sickness
    • Sharing food and water

    As hepatitis C can be spread through infected blood the following precautions should be taken:

    DiagnosisHepatitis C is most often diagnosed by having a blood or tissue sample taken. The blood will be tested for antibodies relating to the virus, this can be detected two or three months after the time of suspected contraction. Ensure that you consult your doctor if you suspect you have hepatitis.


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    Can Hepatitis B Be Controlled By Eating Right And Exercising

    It is important that people with liver disease follow a healthy, nutritious diet as outlined by Health Canada in Eating Well with Canadas Food Guide.

    Alcohol can also damage the liver so it is best that people with hepatitis B do not drink. Following a healthy lifestyle may also prevent fatty liver disease, another liver disease highly prevalent in Canada.

    However, hepatitis B cannot be controlled by healthy eating and exercise alone. Hepatitis B can only be controlled by currently available treatment as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will need to do regular blood tests to know how much of the active virus is in your blood . The viral load test is used to monitor and manage hepatitis B patients. Viral load can tell your doctor if you need treatment for hepatitis B and how well you are responding to treatment.

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    How Do You Get Hepatitis A

    The main way you get hepatitis A is when you eat or drink something that has the hep A virus in it. A lot of times this happens in a restaurant. If an infected worker there doesn’t wash their hands well after using the bathroom, and then touches food, they could pass the disease to you.

    Food or drinks you buy at the supermarket can sometimes cause the disease, too. The ones most likely to get contaminated are:

    • Shellfish
    • Ice and water

    You could catch or spread it if you’re taking care of a baby and you don’t wash your hands after changing their diaper. This can happen, for example, at a day care center.

    Another way you can get hep A is when you have sex with someone who has it.

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    Hepatitis A Vaccine And Travel

    If youâre going to a country where hepatitis A is common and youâve never had the virus or the vaccine, start the vaccination process as soon as you can. It takes 2 to 4 weeks after the first dose for the vaccine to work, but even one shot a few days before you leave will give you some protection.

    People who are allergic to something in the vaccine and children younger than 6 months might instead get a shot of immune globulin , which will protect against hepatitis A for up to 2 months.

    Contaminated Food And Water

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    Hepatitis A is most commonly passed on by eating food prepared by someone with the virus whose hands have not been washed properly. You can also get it by drinking dirty water and by eating raw or undercooked shellfish from dirty water.

    You can protect yourself by:

    • Washing your hands each time you go to the toilet, before you prepare or eat food, after coughing or sneezing, or handling rubbish or other dirty items.
    • Peeling and washing all your fresh fruit and vegetables avoiding raw or undercooked meat and fish avoiding all drinks if youre not sure if theyre safe with or without ice.
    • If tap water isnt safe and bottled water isn’t available, boil tap water before drinking it.
    • People living in places with poor sanitation and hygiene are at a greater risk of hepatitis A infection. You may also be exposed to hepatitis A through your work, for example, sewage workers, staff in institutions where levels of personal hygiene may be poor , people working with animals that may be infected with hepatitis A and daycare centres.

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    Treatments For Hepatitis A

    There’s currently no cure for hepatitis A. But it usually gets better on its own within a couple of months. You can usually look after yourself at home.

    While you’re ill, it’s a good idea to:

    • get plenty of rest
    • take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, for any aches and pains ask your GP for advice about this, as you may need to take lower doses than normal or avoid certain medications until you have recovered
    • maintain a cool, well-ventilated environment, wear loose clothing and avoid hot baths or showers to reduce any itching
    • eat small, light meals to help reduce nausea and vomiting
    • avoid alcohol to reduce the strain on your liver
    • stay off work or school and avoid having sex until at least a week after your jaundice or other symptoms started
    • practise good hygiene, such as washing your hands with soap and water regularly

    Speak to your GP if your symptoms are particularly troublesome or have not started to improve within a couple of months.

    They can prescribe medications to help with itchiness, nausea or vomiting, if necessary.

    For most people, hepatitis A gets better within 2 months and there are no long-term effects.

    Once it passes, you normally develop life-long immunity against the virus.

    In around 1 in every 7 people with the infection, the symptoms may come and go for up to 6 months before eventually disappearing.

    Life-threatening complications such as liver failure are rare, affecting less than 1 in every 250 people with hepatitis A.

    Can You Prevent Getting Hepatitis A

    If you are at risk of hepatitis A, it is recommended that you are vaccinated to lower your risk of becoming infected. The vaccine works by causing your body to make antibodies which will stop you becoming infected if you come into contact with the virus.

    Hepatitis A can be given as a sole vaccine or in combination with other vaccines such as Typhoid fever and/or hepatitis B.

    Please see the downloadable publication below for full information.

    Immunisation is one way to protect yourself from getting hepatitis A, however no vaccine is 100% guaranteed. To protect yourself further you should:

    • make sure you practise good hygiene
    • avoid eating raw or not quite cooked shellfish, raw salads, vegetables and fruits that may have been washed in unclean water. Also avoid foods that may have been grown close to the ground, such as strawberries
    • avoid drinking untreated drinking water including ice cubes and only use treated or bottled water when brushing your teeth
    • avoid unpasteurised milk, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products
    • avoid pre-prepared foods such as buffets or foods from street vendors which you have not seen being cooked, foods which are served at room temperature or could have had flies on them
    • have safer sex use a condom or a dental dam
    • never share anything you use for injecting or snorting drugs and/or steroids.

    If you have been diagnosed with hepatitis A, reducing the risk of spreading the infection is important. You should:

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    Keep Personal Items Personal

    Any tools or implements that may have a bit of blood on them from infected people are potential sources of hepatitis B or C transmission. Toothbrushes, nail clippers, razors, needles, and washcloths may all contain trace amounts of blood that can transmit infection. Keep personal items such as these to yourself and never use personal items that belong to others.

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