What is Hepatitis A and E?
It is a virus that infects the liver causing inflammation of the liver.
How is the infection acquired?
Hepatitis A or E is spread primarily through food or water contaminated by faeces from an infected person.
Who is at risk for hepatitis A or E?
International travelers, travelling to remote places, particularly those traveling to developing countries.
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis A or E?
- Stomach upset
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Dark yellow urine
- Yellowish eye & skin called jaundice
How is Hepatitis A or E treated?
- Hepatitis A or E usually gets better in a few weeks without any specific antiviral treatment.
- Symptomatic treatment is given for itching, nausea, vomting due to jaundice. Patient is encouraged to drink boiled water and home cooked food. Avoid medications unless prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.
- Small percentage of patients, Hepatitis A or E (1% ) will develop acute liver failure.
- In pregnant patient with hepatitis E the risk of acute liver failure is 20%.
How can Hepatitis A and E be prevented?
Sometimes history and clinical examination alone can raise suspicion of the diagnosis. However tests are done to confirm the same.
- The hepatitis A vaccine offers immunity to adults and children older than age 1. In India most people are exposed early and therefore vaccination is not routinely recommended.
- Vaccine for Hepatitis E is not available, however, research is going on.
- Avoiding tap water when travelling internationally.
- Practising good hygiene and sanitation also help prevent hepatitis A or E.