Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver caused by toxins, alcohol use, certain medication, and viruses. Viruses are considered the most common cause of hepatitis. There are five distinct types of hepatitis caused by different types of hepatitis viruses.
Let’s talk about hepatitis A, which is caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV), the transmission of this disease, and where you can go to get vaccine and treatment for hepatitis A in Austin, Texas.
What Is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious infection of the liver, which accounts for 20 to 25 percent of cases of hepatitis in developed countries. Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus, which is one of the several types of hepatitis viruses that infect liver cells and cause liver inflammation. The inflammation of the liver impairs its function, i.e., to break down waste products in the blood, and thus the waste builds up in your blood and tissues.
You may not notice any symptoms of hepatitis A until you have had the hepatitis A virus for a few weeks. Not everyone develops symptoms of hepatitis A. if you do, the symptoms include:
- Joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain, especially on the right side
- Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Light-colored stool and dark urine
How Is Hepatitis A Virus Transmitted?
Typically, the incubation period of hepatitis A can range from two to six weeks, during which the disease is highly contagious. If you understand how the hepatitis A virus is transmitted, you can reduce your chances of acquiring it or passing it to someone else if you happen to have it.
· Eating contaminated food – Some food, such as raw shellfish, can become infected with the virus through the sewage water. When you ingest infected food, you become exposed to the virus. Cooking shellfish over 185 degrees Fahrenheit can kill the virus and prevent you from acquiring the virus.
Also, food that is handled by a person infected with hepatitis A can cause you to catch the virus. Sharing utensils with someone who is infected with the virus and does not wash hands after using the toilet can also increase your chances of acquiring it.
· Drinking poor quality water – You can catch hepatitis A from drinking inferior quality water. Well waters are often contaminated with the hepatitis A virus through the fecal matter of infected humans. A poorly operating sewage system, contaminated stormwater runoff, and sewage overflow can also enter the well and contaminate its water.
Poor quality water is nowhere to be found in the United States due to public water systems; however, developing countries don’t have advanced water purification systems, and drinking water can contain the virus.
· Having close contact or sexual relationship with an infected person – You can catch the virus if you come in close contact with a person who is infected with HAV and doesn’t wash their hands properly. Also, having a sexual relationship with an infected person can also put you at higher risk of acquiring hepatitis A. Men who are in a relationship with men are more likely to get hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A Treatment Near Me in Austin, Texas
If you are at risk for developing hepatitis A or have it already, visit us at Austin Gastroenterology. Our board-certified and highly skilled gastroenterologists have years of experience in diagnosing, treating, and preventing gastrointestinal and liver diseases. If you suffer from hepatitis A, we will treat it, and if you are at risk of developing it, we will help prevent it from developing.
We also offer the vaccine for hepatitis A and B.
If you have any question about hepatitis A or wants to set up an appointment with our healthcare providers, call us at the most convenient location of us near you or use of online appointment request form.