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How Do You Get Hepatitis?

How do people get Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a condition that causes the liver to become inflamed. It can result from medications, viruses and various toxic agents. There are currently five known typs of viral hepatitis. In this article we will focus on Hepatitis A; how the diseases is spread and how it can be prevented.

How Do You Get Hepatitis

Hepatits A, also commonly called HAV, is spread by oral-fecal contact, or simply complin in contact orally with the feces of an individual who is currently infected with HAV. This usually arises from consuming contaiminated water or food and sexual contact such as anal-oral sex.

Hepatitis A can spread rapidly in environments that have numerou small children such as day care centers and kidergarten classes as these little ones are not adept in hand-washing and commonly wear diapers. Because children do not usually show the signs and symptoms of HAV it could be difficult to determine whether or not they are infected.

In some instances, although rarely, HAV is spread through the transfusion of blood. This occurs when personal tools such as needles and other equipment for injections are shared or if the blood products are somehow contaminated with blood in which the hepatitis A virus is present.

This disease is rarely spread by blood due to the fact that the virus is unable to remain present for a continual period of time. Once the viurs enters the blood stream, the infection develops.

Hepatitis Symptoms

This is an acute diseases and thus, it hast an acute phase initially that produces minimal to no symptoms. When symptoms are present they are most commonly flu-like:

  • joint and muscle pain
  • low-grad fever
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • mild pain in the abdomen
  • small appetite
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue
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    The acute phase of this disease and the symptoms that ensue are not often serior or deadly, but in some rare instances a fast progressing form of HAV could be fatal.

    As the infection worsens as new serious of symptoms are likely to arise:

  • yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • stool that are pus-filled and light colored
  • darkening of the urine
  • hives
  • itching
  • The various forms of this virus are distinguishable by the course of the infection and the differeing outcome following the initial acute phase.

    How To Prevent Hepatitis

    The following should be remembered in order to prevent Hepatitis A:

    Preventing Sexual Transmission:

  • remain abstinent
  • opt to have a monogomous relationship with a single, uninfected individual
  • use moisture barriers such as latex condoms that are not lubricated or household plastic wrapping sheets to reduce the risk of transmission during anal-oral sex
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    Preventing Non-Sexual Transmission

  • never share injection tools for drugs, especially needles
  • steer clear of contaminated food and water supplies. Eat foods that have been prepared frish. Drink boiled water or bottled water, especially in areas in which the water supply and santitation is questionable.
  • Do not eat unpeeled produce unless these have been properly cleaned.
  • Use good personal hygiene practices, especially after changing diapers, feminine products or going to the bathroom. Wash hands thoroughly after any of these.
  • To kill the hepatitis A virus heat your foods to temperatures higher than 85 degrees C for a minimum of one minute or disinfect any contaminated surfaces with a solution of bleach and water that is the equivalent of 1:100
  • Always get a HAV vaccination before traveling to Mexico, Eastern Europe and any other countries that are still considered as developing nations.
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