Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A or formely known as infectious hepatits is a infectious disease of the liver and it is caused by a virus known as hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is transmitted by the fecal-oral route an it travels through contaminated food or drinking water. After each passing year approximately 10 million more people are infected with hepatitis A. From the time that you were infected to the appearance of the symptoms is between two to six weeks, the average process period is 28 days.

In developing countries, and in regions with poor hygiene standards, the possibility of getting infected with this virus is very high and in these places the ilness usually starts in early childhood. HAV has been found in samples taken to study ocean water quality. This infection causes no clinical signs and symptoms in over 90% of infected children. This infection is contracted primarily by susceptible young adults, most of them are infected with this virus during trips to countries with a high incidence of disease. HepatitisA does not have a chronic stage, is not progressive and it doesn’t cause permanent liver damage. This disease can be prevented by vaccination and hepatitis A Vaccine has been proven effective.

File:Hepatitis A virus 02.jpg
File:Hepatitis A virus 02.jpg

Signs and symptoms

Sometimes the early symptoms of hepatitis A infction can be mistaken for influenza, but for some sufferers especially children will exhibit no symptoms at all. Also these symptoms are not deadly.

The symptoms that can return over the following 6 to 9 weeks include:

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Abdominal pain

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Appetite loss

  • Depression

  • Jaundice (when the skin is yellowed or when the eyes go whiter)

  • Weight loss

  • Itching


The brand names for Hepatitis A vaccine include Harvey and Avaxim. The first successful vaccine was invented by Maurice Hillman at Merck. This vaccine protects the body against the virus in more than 95% of the cases and it provides protection from the virus for at least ten years. Also this vaccine contains inactivated Hepatitis A virus and it stimulates active immunity against a future infection for this disease.
external image Recombinant-Hepatitis-B-Vaccine-Yeast-.jpg


The things that can prevent you from getting hepatitis A is by vaccination, good hygiene or by sanitation. Hepatitis A is one of the main reason not to surf or go in the ocean after rains in coastal areas.


For hepatitis a there is no specific treatment but the patients are advised to rest, avoid fatty foods and alcohol, eat a well - balanced diet and stay hydrated.


Ian Chow 9.1