Facts About Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is an infection that affects the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Many times, a person with hepatitis A shows no signs or symptoms. If symptoms are present, these may include jaundice (yellowing of eye and skin) and fever.
Hepatitis A is not a chronic disease. So, a person who has it does not stay infected for a long time. A person who might have been infected with the hepatitis A virus cannot be infected again. So he or she is immune to the disease.
Hepatitis A will leave a person incapacitated or weakened for a long time, up to several weeks, even months.
A person gets hepatitis A by coming into contact with the stools or feces of an infected person. This might happen by accident by placing in mouth an object or body part that seems clean, such as eating utensils or hands. This type of transmission is called fecal-oral.
People who are at risk of hepatitis A include household contacts of infected persons. This refers to people living in the same house as other infected persons. Also, sex contacts of infected persons. Other specific groups who are at higher risk for developing hepatitis A are men who have sex with men and injecting and non-injecting drug users.
Good personal hygiene and proper sanitation, such as washing your hands before eating, can help prevent hepatitis A. A vaccine also exists to prevent from hepatitis A infection.