WANTED: Hepatitis A (HAV)
GENUS: Hepatovirus SPECIES: Hepatovirus a
Victim Under Attack: Jaundice
Hepatitis A Virus
Hepatitis A is an infection in the liver, which is part of the digestive system. There are different types of Hepatitis like Hepatitis B/C. This virus is passed by contaminated food and water or close physical contact.
People who are not vaccinated or previously infected are most at risk. Most cases of Hepatitis A occur during early childhood. People with poor sanitation, lack of safe water, and inject illegal drugs are also at risk. People who travel or work in regions with high rates of Hepatitis A, attend child care, or work in child care centers, and people with hemophilia are more at risk.
Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, low grade fever, dark urine, joint pain, yellowing and skin and eyes, known as Jaundice. Usually there are no long term effects, in some cases they can last longer, or come back over a 6-9 month period. In extremely rare case, those effect may experience live failure and need a liver transplant.
This virus is found in food or water that has been contaminated with stool of someone with the virus or raw shellfish harvested in contaminated water. People who also have close physical contact with someone with the disease can contract the disease.
To defend yourself from this disease do not travel to areas with increased Hepatitis A infection, and do not inject illegal drugs. If you do come in contact with the disease make sure you have the vaccine. If you come in contact you can get specific medication called immune globulin. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, before and after handling food and after changing a diaper.