Are There Home Remedies For Hepatitis A
The following measures can help you feel better while you are having symptoms.
- Take it easy curtail normal activities and spend time resting at home.
- Drink plenty of clear fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Avoid medicines and substances that can cause harm to the liver such as acetaminophen and preparations that contain acetaminophen.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages, as these can worsen the effects of HAV on the liver.
- Avoid prolonged, vigorous exercise until symptoms start to improve.
Be very careful about personal hygiene to avoid fecal-oral transmission to other members of the household.
How Long Is The Infectious Period
You are infectious for 2 weeks before you show any symptoms and for 1 week after you develop jaundice .
To reduce the risk of other people becoming infected, stay home and don’t prepare food for other people for 7 days from the onset of jaundice. After you have recovered from hepatitis A, you are immune and cannot get it again.
Treatment For Hepatitis A
There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. In most cases, your immune system will clear the infection and your liver will completely heal. Treatment aims to ease symptoms and reduce the risk of complications. Options may include:
- Rest hepatitis A can make you tired and lacking in energy for day-to-day life, so rest when you can.
- Eat small meals more often nausea can affect your ability to eat and can contribute to tiredness, so eat small amounts of high-calorie foods often if nausea is a problem.
- Drink fluids.
- Protect your liver the liver processes medication and alcohol, so avoid alcohol and review any medication with your doctor.
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Who Is At Risk Of Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is rare in New Zealand but can affect anyone who is not immune. Those at higher risk of contracting the infection are:
- people who travel overseas, especially to countries where sanitation is not good
- children and staff in day-care centres
- people in jobs that exposes them to faeces , such as healthcare workers and people who work with sewerage
- sex industry workers
- men who have sex with men
- people who inject illegal drugs
- people who are in close personal contact with an infected person.
Precautionary Treatment After Exposure
If a person has not been vaccinated, and they know they have been exposed to HAV, they can still receive either the vaccine or immune globulin within 2 weeks of the exposure.
This may include:
- colleagues of a food handler who has tested positive for HAV
- employees and children in a daycare center where someone has received a diagnosis of HAV
- anyone in close personal contact with a person who has HAV, including nurses or carers
Which treatment they should receive will depend on the age and health status of the person.
Prevention depends on immunization and good hygiene practices.
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How Can I Prevent The Spread Of Hav
You are most contagious in the 2 weeks before and the first week after you become jaundiced. Your friends, sex partners, and family members may need to get the hepatitis A vaccine. If you already have hepatitis A, it is too late to get the vaccine. The following are important things you can do to keep from spreading the infection:
- Do not share dishes or utensils. Soak dishes and utensils in boiling water. Then wash them, or use a dishwasher. You may want to use disposable dishes.
- Do not prepare food or meals for other people.
- Wash clothing and bedding in the hottest water setting.
- Clean toilets with a product that kills germs.
- Let your healthcare provider know if your work involves preparing or serving food, or close physical contact with other people. If you do this kind of work, the health department will need to evaluate if these people have been exposed to hepatitis A. You cannot return to work until your healthcare provider says it is safe.
How Does It Affect The Body
The incubation period for hepatitis B can range from . However, not everyone who has acute hepatitis B will experience symptoms.
About 95 percent of adults completely recover from hepatitis B. However, hepatitis B can also become chronic.
The risk of chronic hepatitis B is greatest in those who were exposed to HBV as young children. Many people with chronic hepatitis B dont have symptoms until significant liver damage has occurred.
In some people whove had hepatitis B, the virus can reactivate later on. When this happens, symptoms and liver damage may occur. People with a weakened immune system and those being treated for hepatitis C are at a higher risk for HBV reactivation.
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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.
What Is The Medical Treatment For Hepatitis A
- If a patient becomes dehydrated, the doctor may prescribe IV fluids.
- If a patient is experiencing significant nausea and vomiting, he or she will receive medicines to control these symptoms.
- People whose symptoms are well controlled can be cared for at home.
- If dehydration or other symptoms are severe, or if the patient is extremely confused or difficult to arouse, he or she will most likely be hospitalized.
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Immunisation Against Hepatitis A
Immunisation is the best protection against hepatitis A infection and is recommended for people in high-risk groups, and for unvaccinated people who have been in close contact with someone who has hepatitis A.
Immunisation against hepatitis A includes a course of injections over a 6 to 12-month period. Healthy people 12 months of age and over receive 2 doses of hepatitis A vaccine, or 3 doses if the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines are given as a combination.
You can complete any missed vaccine doses, even if the recommended time frame has passed. You do not need to start the vaccine course again.
If you are in close contact with someone who has hepatitis A be sure to have the hepatitis A vaccine if you have not already completed a vaccine course.
Babies under 12 months of age and people who have a weakened immune system who are also in close contact with a person with hepatitis A can have an injection of normal human immunoglobulin instead of the hepatitis A vaccine.
Protection against hepatitis A is available free of charge under the National Immunisation Program Schedule for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who live in high-risk areas .
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.
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How Can We Prevent Hepatitis A In The Workplace
The prevention of hepatitis A in the workplace is based on good hygiene and sanitation. The spread of hepatitis A can be reduced by:
- adequate supplies of safe drinking water
- proper treatment or disposal of sewage
- personal hygiene practices, such as regular hand-washing
- avoiding sharing items such as towels, and wash soiled laundry separately in hot water
- if you are infected, do not prepare meals for others
Education programs for workers about personal hygiene practices should emphasize that careful hand washing is extremely important in the prevention of disease. Workers should be informed about using appropriate protective clothing and about removing it at the end of the shift. They should also be informed about the necessity of washing hands frequently, and before eating, drinking, or smoking they should also avoid nail biting.
A hepatitis A vaccine is available and it is highly effective in preventing infection. Consult your health professional.
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How Do I Avoid Getting Hepatitis A
Hand hygiene is the gold standard for preventing the spread of hepatitis A. Use soap and water to wash your hands after using the toilet or changing nappies, before and after preparing food and before eating.
A vaccine is available for people at risk of infection, but it is not funded. It is recommended more than one vaccination is needed. For more information please see your family doctor.
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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.
Symptoms Of Hepatitis A
You can become ill any time between 2 and 4 weeks after coming into contact with the hepatitis A virus.
The average incubation period for the virus is 28 days.
Many infected people, particularly children less than 5 years old, show few or no symptoms.
For older children and adults, the symptoms of hepatitis A include:
- yellow skin and eyes .
Symptoms may last for several weeks. Most people fully recover from hepatitis A infection.
A single infection of hepatitis A leads to lifelong immunity. Prior infection with hepatitis B or hepatitis C does not offer immunity for hepatitis A.
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Reducing The Risk Of Hepatitis A
Protecting yourself from hepatitis A
The most important action you can take to protect yourself against hepatitis A is to get vaccinated.
Practising strict personal hygiene is also essential to reducing the risk of hepatitis A. Steps you can take include:
- Wash your hands with soap and hot running water before handling food, after going to the toilet and after handling used condoms or having contact with nappies or the anal area of another person. Use a clean towel to dry your hands.
- Use barrier protection when engaging in oral-anal sex and avoid sex with someone who is infected with the hepatitis A virus.
- Vaccination may prevent illness if given within 2 weeks of contact with an infectious person.
- Clean bathrooms and toilets often, paying attention to toilet seats, handles, taps and nappy change tables.
- Boil your drinking water if it comes from an untreated source, such as a river.
- If you are travelling overseas, particularly to countries where hepatitis A is widespread, take special care to avoid hepatitis A. Before travelling, talk to your doctor about immunisation for protection.
Protecting others from hepatitis A
If you have hepatitis:
- Wash eating utensils in soapy water, and machine wash linen and towels.
Household contacts and sexual partners of an infectious person may need to be immunised.
All people who have hepatitis A should check with their doctor before returning to work or school.
Protecting yourself from hepatitis A when overseas
How You Can Get Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is most widespread in parts of the world where standards of sanitation and food hygiene are generally poor, such as parts of Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, the Middle East, and Central and South America.
You can get the infection from:
- eating food prepared by someone with the infection who has not washed their hands properly or washed them in water contaminated with sewage
- drinking contaminated water, including ice cubes
- eating raw or undercooked shellfish from contaminated water
- close contact with someone who has hepatitis A
- less commonly, having sex with someone with hepatitis A or injecting drugs using contaminated equipment
Someone with hepatitis A is most infectious from around 2 weeks before symptoms appear until about a week after symptoms first develop.
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What Test Is Available For Hepatitis A
The common test for hepatitis A is the antibody test. When a person becomes infected, the body creates antibodies to protect itself from the virus. There is a blood test available to measure these antibodies -HAV-specific Immunoglobulin G . Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction is another test used to detect the hepatitis A virus. A doctor should also do a complete medical examination and get information about your activities in order to make a clinical diagnosis of hepatitis A.
Who Is Most Affected
Anyone who has not been vaccinated or previously infected can become infected with HAV. The most common risk factors among people with new HAV infections include: 1) drug use 2) having sex with an infected person 3) coming in direct contact with persons who have HAV infection 4) homelessness and 5) traveling to countries where HAV infection is more common.
For countries where HAV infection is common, the risk factors are poor sanitation and lack of clean, safe drinking water.
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Can Hepatitis A Be Treated
There is no drug treatment for hepatitis A. The disease will eventually run its course and an infected person will recover completely although recovery time varies for each person. Recovery from this virus infection means that you are protected for life from getting it again.
The following are some ways of dealing with the symptoms:
- You will feel tired and may have very little energy. You may need to take time off from daily activities, work or school to recover.
- Nausea and vomiting may cause you to lose your appetite. Try to eat small snacks and soft foods such as soup or toast.
- You may look yellow. Once you become yellow, you are no longer infectious. There is no need to isolate yourself. Let people around you know it is OK to be near you.
- Try not to drink alcohol. Your liver may not be able to process alcohol and alcohol may make your symptoms worse.
- Talk to your doctor before taking over-the-counter medications or complementary medicine. None of the alternative therapies have proved helpful in treating hepatitis A.
The Symptoms Are Variable
Though doctors can list common symptoms of hepatitis, not everyone will have these symptoms. Some people may have only one or two common symptoms. Others may have all of the symptoms. People experience viral hepatitis in different ways. These symptoms are known to exist in people with viral hepatitis. Your situation might be different.
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What Are The Treatments For Hepatitis A
If you have not had the vaccine, and your infection has been confirmed by a blood sample, your healthcare provider might give you the hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin . This only works if the medicine is given within two weeks of you being exposed to HAV.
If you were exposed and are unable to get the vaccine or the immune globulin, you are likely to recover without treatment. However, your healthcare provider will probably recommend that you follow the following self-care recommendations:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Review any type of medicineprescription and over-the-counterthat you take with your healthcare provider. Even things like supplements or vitamins could cause damage to your liver.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis A
You can get the first symptoms anytime between 15 and 50 days after you came in contact with the virus. But they usually show up between about 2 and 4 weeks later.
Most people with hepatitis A usually have sudden:
- Extreme tiredness
If your child has hep A, they may also have:
- Cold symptoms
- Sore throat
If you’re over age 50 or have a long-term liver disease, you may have a more severe case of the disease called fulminant hepatitis A infection. You could have symptoms like:
- Spontaneous bleeding or easy bruising
- Confusion and changes in alertness
- Liver function that gets worse
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes that gets worse
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When Should I See A Doctor
Make an appointment if you have any of the symptoms and you recently:
- Traveled out of the country, especially if you went to Mexico, South America, Central America, or anywhere without good sanitation
- Ate at a restaurant that reported a hepatitis A outbreak
- Found out someone close to you, like a roommate or caregiver, was diagnosed with hepatitis A
- Had sex with someone who has hepatitis A
- Ate raw shellfish
- Used illegal drugs
When you see your doctor, they may spot some more signs that you’ve got the disease. For instance, they might find that you have: