What is Hepatitis A?


Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus which causes about 20 to 40% of clinically apparent hepatitis. Hepatitis A is most common where people live in overcrowded conditions with poor sanitation. However, anyone can become infected and carry the disease with them into other areas. It is therefore, a worldwide problem. Outbreaks and epidemics can occur just about anywhere. The highest incidence of the infection is in children, since they are not very aware of hygienic precautions. Hepatitis A can spread rapidly within schools and other institutions such as day care centers. Causative Factor Hepatitis A is caused by the enterovirus. Clinical Features
  • Fever.
  • Fatigue.
  • Nausea and vomiting. Liver
  • Diarrhea.
  • After one or two weeks, the liver may become enlarged and jaundice (yellowing) may occur.
  • Yellow color in the whites of the eyes.
  • The urine may become dark and stools pale.
Clinical manifestations of Hepatitis A often pass unrecognized in children younger than two years. The most important factor affecting the severity of the disease is age. About one in every thousand infected patients dies from liver failure. Mode of Transmission
  • The Aepatitis A virus is transmitted by the oral–fecal route.
  • Through close person–to–person contact or,
  • By ingesting contaminated food or water.
  • The virus enters the body through the mouth. Unlike other forms of Hepatitis, body fluids are not involved in the spread of Hepatitis A.