What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a very contagious liver infection. It causes inflammation of the liver and affects liver functioning. It is usually transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Most cases do not require treatment because Hepatitis A does not develop into a chronic (long term) condition. Young children tend to have mild cases. The best way to prevent it is to practice good hygiene and hand washing.
What are the causes?
Hepatitis A virus which can be transmitted by:
- Close contact with a person who is infected
- Eating food that has been handled by a person with the virus who has not washed his or her hands after using the restroom
- Drinking contaminated water
- Eating shellfish from polluted water
- Having sex or sharing needles with someone who has the virus
- Rarely blood transfusions
Treatments for Hepatitis A:
- There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis A. It is important that people diagnosed with Hepatitis A receive adequate nutrition and avoid permanent liver damage.
What can I do?
- Talk to your child’s doctor about which medicines your child can continue to take (if applicable)
- If your child has nausea make sure to give only soft, easily digestible foods
- Practice good hygiene so that the virus is not spread to you or others
It is important to remember the health information found on this Web site is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your health care provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a true medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain or discomfort (on the right side of the stomach below the ribs)
- Loss of appetite
- Low grade fever
- Dark urine
- Muscle pain
- Possible jaundice (yellow coloring on the skin and whites of the eyes)