There’s a reason why mothers are obsessed with cleanliness; kids get sick when they lack hygiene. Hepatitis A, or Jaundice, is a common illness amongst children and is one of the reasons why we should take extra care of our children’s hygienic habits. Let’s talk more about the disease, how to spot it, treat it, and prevent it.
What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A (also known as Hep A, or Elsafra) is a viral liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) and causes inflammation. Hepatitis A infection can be highly contagious. It often spreads through the ingestion of contaminated food and drinks, or through close contact with an infected person, especially through using the infected person’s food utensils.
Although Hepatitis A isn’t as severe as Hepatitis B and C, in some cases it could lead to liver failure; however, it normally takes its natural course and the infected person recovers completely, especially if they don’t suffer from any immunity issues.
How to spot a Hepatitis A infection?
A person infected with Hep A wouldn’t notice for weeks until some (or all) of the following symptoms start to appear:
- Jaundice (the skin and eye whites turn yellowish)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mild fever
- Stomachache, especially around the liver
- General tiredness
- Clay-colored stool
- Dark urine
- Low appetite
- Joint pain
Treatment of Hepatitis A
- Stay at home and get enough rest.
- Make sure you get enough calories through small nutritious light meals to combat the loss of appetite and nausea.
- Wear cotton loose clothes and stay in a cool place to contain the skin itchiness.
- Don’t overwork your liver by taking strong medication, supplements, and vitamins.
- Make sure to contain the illness and not infect others, by washing your hand all the time thoroughly, and not sharing food or tools with other people.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions carefully.
Is there a way to avoid Hepatitis A infection?
The good news is, Hep A is preventable. Here are ways to avoid a Hep A infection:
- Practice good personal hygiene habits, especially washing hands before eating and after using the bathroom, and after changing diapers.
- Make sure the water you drink is purified, filtered, or mineral. If that’s not available, then drink boiled, then cooled, tap water.
- Wash fruits and vegetables carefully before consuming them.
- Avoid contact with someone who carries the virus (HAV), through kissing, sharing food, and other tools.
- Make sure you and your children take the Hepatitis A vaccine.
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