Are There Complications From Hepatitis A
In extremely rare cases, hepatitis A can lead to acute liver failure. This complication is most common in older adults and people who already have chronic liver disease. If this occurs, you will be hospitalized. Even in cases of liver failure, a full recovery is likely. Very rarely is a liver transplant required.
An Inflammation Of The Liver Generally Caused By A Virus Hepatitis Carries A Host Of Complicating Factors Side Effects And Stigma
- Preventing Transmission: With infections on the rise, most adults should be getting screened for hepatitis.
- Liviahs New Liver: A 4-year-old in Ohio is one of hundreds of children who have been given a diagnosis of hepatitis and develop liver issues in recent months. Heres her story.
- Pandemics Effect: A wave of diagnostics ushered in by Covid could help revive flagging efforts to eliminate hepatitis C, one of the most common forms of the disease.
What Is Hepatitis E
Hepatitis E, also called enteric hepatitis , is similar to hepatitis A, and more prevalent in Asia and Africa. It is also transmitted through the fecal-oral route. It is generally not fatal, though it is more serious in women during pregnancy and can cause fetal complications. Most patients with hepatitis E recover completely.
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Who Should Get The Hepatitis A Vaccine
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that all children in the U.S. get vaccinated against hepatitis A at age 12 months. However, if an infant aged 6-11 months will be traveling to a country with a significant number of people with hepatitis A, the child should get one dose before leaving the U.S. The child should then get 2 doses separated by 6 to 18 months when the child is between 12 months and 23 months.
You should also get the hepatitis A vaccine if you fall into one of the following groups:
- Men who have sexual contact with other men.
- Users of any type of illegal drugs.
- People with blood clot disorders, such as hemophilia.
- People who have chronic liver disease.
- Homeless people.
- People who will be closely involved with a person being adopted from a country with high rates of hepatitis A infections.
Treatment And Prevention Of Hepatitis A
Because hepatitis A virus infections can have serious health consequences, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends providing post-exposure prophylaxis for unvaccinated people who have consumed any contaminated food or water within two weeks of exposure.
PEP consists of:
- Hepatitis A vaccine for people between the ages of 1 and 40 years
- Hepatitis A virus-specific immunoglobulin for people outside of this age range, but the hepatitis A vaccine can be substituted if IG is not available.
- Those with evidence of previous vaccination or who can confirm previous hepatitis A illness do not require PEP.
If you are unsure if you have been vaccinated against hepatitis A, contact your health professional to check your immunization records. If you have been vaccinated, no further action is needed. If you have never received the hepatitis A vaccine, getting a single dose within two weeks of exposure can protect against illness. If you are unable to determine whether you have already been vaccinated, receiving an additional dose of vaccine is not harmful if you have already been vaccinated.
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When Your Baby Has Hepatitis C
There are tests available when your child is 3 months old, but many experts dont recommend them because babies cant be treated until theyre older.
Signs that your child has hepatitis C are:
- Dark, brownish pee
- Swelling in the legs
Your doctor may suggest your child get blood tests to diagnose hepatitis C. Theyre the same tests used in adults, but theyre only done in kids over the age of 2:
HCV-RNA testor qualitative HCV test. This measures whether active hepatitis C virus is in your childs bloodstream.
Quantitative HCV test or viral load test. It checks the amount of the virus in the blood. Youll get results that are measured in international units per liter . Lower numbers mean the disease is easier to get under control.
Viral genotyping. This test shows which kind of hepatitis C, called a genotype, is causing your childs infection.
Who Should Receive The Hepatitis A Vaccine
In general, CDC recommends the following groups be vaccinated for hepatitis A:
- All children at age 1 year
- Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A
- Family members and caregivers of recent adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
- Men who have unprotected sexual contact with other men
- Users of injection and illegal drugs
- People with chronic liver diseases, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C
- People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
- People who work with hepatitis A infected animals or in a hepatitis A research laboratory
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How Is Hav Spread
- Food handlers with HAV did not wash their hands after they used the bathroom.
- Drinking water that was not clean or eating raw shellfish that came from water that was not clean.
- Travel to an area in the world where hepatitis A is common or has an active outbreak.
- Daycare workers did not wash their hands after they changed a diaper.
- Sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A, especially males who have sex with other males.
What Are The Signs Of Hep C
Most people with the hepatitis C virus dont show any symptoms, yet hep C can lead to serious health complications.
In people who do develop symptoms from acute infection, the average time from exposure to symptoms ranges from 2 to 12 weeks.Even without symptoms, a person with hep C can still spread the virus to others.
If youre at risk for hep C, and have experienced any of the symptoms listed below, speak with your healthcare professional and ask if you should be tested. Its important to note that you should never try to diagnose hep C yourself and that it can only be diagnosed by a healthcare professional.
Symptoms of acute and chronic hepatitis C infection may include:
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When Will Symptoms Appear After You Have Been Exposed To Hav
It generally takes about 4 weeks for symptoms to appear, but they can start at 2 weeks or they can start up to 8 weeks after you have been exposed. You probably wont get every symptom immediately, but they tend to emerge over days.
Also, you can have no symptoms and have the virus and be contagious. Children especially may be free of symptoms despite being infected.
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The main method of treating such an ailment is based on the use of the drug Interferon alpha, which helps to reduce the risk of developing cirrhosis and, accordingly, improves the quality of life.
Symptoms and signs of hepatitis Health Home
Hepatitis is a rather serious infectious liver disease transmitted through the blood of an infected person, through sexual contact or from mother to fetus. This ailment is very dangerous and can lead to death. Therefore, if appropriate signs and symptoms are found, you should immediately consult a doctor.
It should be noted that one of the most pronounced symptoms of hepatitis is yellowness of the skin. They change their color because the bile produced by the liver penetrates the blood of a person, and then spreads directly throughout the body, staining the skin in a yellowish tint. However, it should be borne in mind that some forms of hepatitis occur without jaundice. That is why laboratory testing for hepatitis is one of the most reliable methods for diagnosing infection.
If the disease lasts more than six months, the patient is diagnosed with chronic hepatitis. It is accompanied by serious symptoms such as enlargement of the liver and spleen, asthenovegetative disorders, metabolic disorders. In addition, chronic hepatitis is characterized by constant weakness and malaise, abdominal pain, itching, nausea, dark urine, bleeding, muscle and joint pain, weight loss.
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Causes Of Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is caused by a virus. The virus can survive for several hours outside the body but persists on the hands and in food for even longer. It is resistant to heating and freezing.
The virus is spread when it enters the mouth, which can happen when hands, foods or other items are contaminated with the faeces of a person with hepatitis A. The disease can also be spread sexually by oral or anal contact.
A person with hepatitis A is infectious from 2 weeks before they show symptoms to one week after they become jaundiced .
If an infected person has no jaundice, they may pass on the virus until 2 weeks after they first have symptoms . Caution is advised beyond this period as the virus can be shed in stools for longer periods.
How Is It Tested For And Diagnosed
After you discuss your symptoms with your doctor, they may order a blood test to check for the presence of a viral or bacterial infection. A blood test will reveal the presence of the hepatitis A virus.
Some people have only a few symptoms and no signs of jaundice. Without visible signs of jaundice, its hard to diagnose any form of hepatitis through a physical examination. When symptoms are minimal, hepatitis A can remain undiagnosed. Complications due to a lack of diagnosis are rare.
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How Do You Get Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A can be spread by sexual contact with an infected person or close personal contact . However, it is most often spread by what scientists call the fecal-oral route. This happens when one person eats or drinks something that has small amounts of fecal matter from another person who has hepatitis A. This can happen by touching something that has the virus on it and then putting your hands in your mouth. It can happen when food is grown, picked, processed or served. Water can also be contaminated.
Mothers do not pass on hepatitis A in breast milk. You cannot be infected with HAV by sitting near to or hugging someone with hepatitis A. It does not spread through coughs or sneezes.
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 A Be Prevented
Yes. The hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all children over 1 year old. The vaccine is given at 12 months of age, followed by a second dose at least 6 months later. Having many young kids vaccinated against HAV can limit the spread of the disease in a community.
The vaccine can be given as early as 6 months of age to babies who will travel to a place where hepatitis A is common .
The vaccine also is recommended for older kids, teens, and adults who have never gotten it.
The best way to prevent hepatitis A and many other infections is to wash hands well and often. This is especially important after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food.
Pregnancy And Hepatitis A Immunisation
Hepatitis A immunisation is not usually recommended for women who are pregnant although vaccination might be recommended in some situations.
Speak with your doctor if you are not immune to hepatitis A and you are at increased risk of infection or if you have a pre-existing medical condition such as liver disease.
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How Long Does Hepatitis A Last
How long it lasts can vary from person to person. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some things to keep in mind:
- Mild hepatitis A may last 1 to 2 weeks.
- Most people are much better within 3 weeks.
- Young children who get symptoms usually get better within 2 months.
If you have a severe infection, it can cause problems for several months. You may need to stay in the hospital.
Some people have symptoms that can last more than 3 months or have problems that come and go for 3 to 9 months.
CDC: “Traveler’s Health: Hepatitis A,” “Viral Hepatitis,” Hepatitis A Questions and Answers for the Public,” “Hepatitis A Vaccine.”
National Health Service: “Hepatitis A — Complications.”
Mandell, G.L., Bennett, J.E., Dolin, R., editors, Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 7th edition, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2009.
Long, S.S., editor, Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 3rd edition, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2008.
American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases: “Hepatitis A Vaccine Recommendations.”
Mayo Clinic: âHepatitis A.â
UpToDate: âHepatitis A virus infection in adults: Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis.â
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hepatitis A Virus Infection
The incubation period of hepatitis A virus is 2-7 weeks . Clinical symptoms then develop, often with a presentation similar to that of gastroenteritis or a viral respiratory infection. The most common signs and symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, fever, hepatomegaly, jaundice, dark urine, anorexia, and rash.
HAV infection usually occurs as a mild self-limited disease and confers lifelong immunity to the virus. Chronic HAV infection does not occur.
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How Do Doctors Treat Hepatitis A
Treatment includes resting, drinking plenty of liquids, and eating healthy foods to help relieve symptoms. Your doctor may also suggest medicines to help relieve symptoms.
Talk with your doctor before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins or other dietary supplements, or complementary or alternative medicinesany of these could damage your liver. You should avoid alcohol until your doctor tells you that you have completely recovered from hepatitis A.
See your doctor regularly to make sure your body has fully recovered. If you have symptoms for longer than 6 months, see your doctor again.
Advice For Restaurants And Retailers
Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators who have processed and packaged any potentially contaminated products need to be concerned about cross contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with the potentially contaminated products.
In the event that retailers and/or other food service operators are found to have handled recalled or other potentially contaminated food in their facilities, they should:
- Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw foods.
- Contact their local health department and communicate to their customers regarding possible exposure to hepatitis A virus and the potential benefit of post-exposure prophylaxis.
- Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops, and utensils that may have contacted contaminated foods then sanitize them with a solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used.
- Wash and sanitize display cases where potentially contaminated products were served or stored.
- Always wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
- Conduct regular frequent cleaning and sanitizing of cutting boards and utensils used in processing to help minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination.
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What Cdc Is Doing
CDC is working with state and local health departments to see if there are additional U.S. pediatric patients with hepatitis, and what may be causing these illnesses. At this time, we believe adenovirus could be the cause of some of these reported illnesses, but investigators are still learning more including ruling out other possible causes and identifying other possible contributing factors.
While rare, children may still get hepatitis, and we dont always know the cause. To learn more about the potential causes of hepatitis in this investigation, investigators are working with state and local health departments to examine the medical records of children who had hepatitis in the past.
During this investigation, it may seem like there is a growing number of children with hepatitis, but this might not be the full picture. These may not be new cases of hepatitis, and they may not be linked to this current investigation.
CDC is also examining national data sources to look at trends in hepatitis in children , as well as any trends in adenovirus infection over several years, including before the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDC and state public health officials will continue to work in close collaboration with healthcare providers to identify and detect unusual patterns or clusters of hepatitis in children. As soon as they find clues, they will quickly share guidelines to prevent further disease.