What Is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A refers to a contagious liver disease which does not move to the chronic stage like hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The hepatitis A disease is a viral infection that can last for a few weeks when mild and several months when severe. A person with hepatitis A will get cured without the use of medication and will just need fluids and rest.
Reports from the CDC show that hepatitis A transmission has been on the decrease in the United States. It is important to get tested if you have been in Africa, Eastern Europe, Mexico, Central and South America, and a few parts of Asia with hepatitis A prevalence. Fortunately, there is a hepatitis A vaccine that can protect you from contracting this infection.
How Does Hepatitis A Spread?
Hepatitis A is transmitted through ingesting infected fecal matter in foods or drinks even in cases where the infected matter is in very small amounts. The infection can also be transmitted through oral-anal sex with an infected person. It is possible to transmit the virus to another person 2 weeks before symptoms appear.
Hepatitis A Symptoms
Hepatitis A will not always have symptoms. When they appear, they might include fatigue, jaundice, joint pain, clay-colored bowel movements, dark urine, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms can appear anytime between a few days and six weeks after exposure to the virus. Acute hepatitis A will last for about two months or less but in some cases, it can last for more than 5 months.
How Is A Hepatitis A Test Done?
We recommend the FDA-cleared Hepatitis A antibody test. This is a test that screens for antibodies that are formed to fight the Hepatitis A virus. You can order a hepatitis A test online today. You will then visit one of our test centers that are close to you. We have over 4500 testing centers and it will only require your location to find a list of centers near you. There is no uncomfortable process and you will be done within a few minutes and the results will be emailed to you within 1 or 2 days.
Is There A Hepatitis A Treatment?
Unfortunately hepatitis A has no treatment. The good news is that once infected, you will feel sick for a few months and then get better. To recover properly, our specialists recommend that you take a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and get enough rest. If you have the infection, you should avoid substances that damage or strain the liver such as alcohol and some types of medications.
Hepatitis A Prevention
Getting a vaccine is the best way to stay safe from hepatitis A. According to the CDC, you need a shot of immune globulin when you are traveling or if you are at high infection risk. Washing your hands thoroughly after changing diapers or visiting the bathroom is a good way to keep the virus at bay. Wash your hands with soap before food preparation.