General Article

Hepatitis – All You Need to Know

Hepatitis – All You Need to Know

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver usually caused by a virus, but can also be caused by bacteria, alcohol, or chemical poisoning. There are 3 major types of hepatitis A, B,and C and it can spread from person to person whether or not there are signs of the disease, and even after the signs disappear.

There are different stories about the common causes of Hepatitis A. However the most common cause of Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus (H.A.V.) and usually affects the human liver. It is usually more serious in older persons and pregnant women but mild in small children.

Hepatitis B is more serious and can lead to permanent scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and even death. Hepatitis C is also very dangerous and can lead to permanent liver infections. It is a major cause of death for people with HIV/AIDS.


Hepatitis A is spread through food and water contaminated by the feces (poop) of people infected with the hepatitis A virus. It is also transmitted through close personal contact with an infected person.

The most vulnerable people to contact Hepatitis A include international travelers to areas that have substandard drinking water, workers in day care centers and long-term care facilities such as nursing homes.

This virus is able to survive the body’s highly acidic digestive tract and at room temperature it can live for more than a week.


Hepatitis A has an incubation period of between 15- 50 days, but averages 28 days. The symptoms of Hepatitis A infection includes the following fever, exhaustion, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal discomfort, dark urine and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).


Prevention they say is cheaper than cure. However, it might interest you to know that Hepatitis A resolves completely on its own.

In order to prevent transmission of hepatitis A virus, you must indulge in basic cleaning tips such as washing your hands thoroughly, especially after using the toilet or changing diapers.

Any spilled blood or body fluids should be cleaned with a 10:1 bleach solution (10 parts water to 1 part bleach) and endeavour to wear gloves when touching blood, body secretions, or any cuts or sores.

People with active hepatitis A virus should avoid preparing food for others and you should desist from sharing razors, toothbrushes, or needles.


Because hepatitis A typically resolves on its own, there is no standard treatment for hepatitis A Virus.

It should be noted that antibiotics do not work against hepatitis. In fact some medicines will cause added damage to the sick liver. Do not use medicines.

The infected person should rest and drink lots of liquids. If he refuses most food, give him orange juice, papaya, and other fruit plus broth or vegetable soup. It may help to take vitamins.

If the sick person can eat, give a balanced meal. Vegetables and fruit are good with some protein however do not give a lot of protein (meat, eggs, fish, etc.) because this makes the damaged liver work too hard.

However, if a person has been exposed to hepatitis A Virus, an injection of hepatitis A Virus immune globulin (antibodies) given within 14 days of exposure may prevent the development of illness or lessen the severity of symptoms.

There have been no serious adverse reactions attributed to the hepatitis A Virus vaccine. Common side effects may include soreness/tenderness at injection site, headache and malaise.

The vaccine is recommended for anyone at risk of exposure to hepatitis A Virus.