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Transmittable Liver Infection, Known as the Hepatitis a Virus Essay

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Updated: Jan 25th, 2022

Hepatitis A, also commonly known as Hep A, is a transmittable liver infection caused by an agent known as the hepatitis A virus. The causative agent is one of the different forms of hepatitis viruses that trigger inflammation and affect the proper functioning of the liver. The disease is manifested in two different cases. One of these cases is reflected in mild symptoms that last for a number of days. The other one is characterized by severe symptoms that may last for more than a month. The prevalent forms of acquiring the infection include the use of contaminated water or food alongside getting into contact with an infected person. Therefore, maintaining cleanliness is one of the ideal approaches that can help mitigate the likelihood of susceptibility to the virus. Vaccines are available for severe illnesses.

There are many symptoms of the disease, most of which are noticeable a few days after contracting the infection. Some of the most common ones include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, joint pain, dark urine, and abdominal discomfort or pain (Sanchez, 2013). It is advisable to immediately seek medical attention on the realization of any of these symptoms in order to avoid infection. There are specific categories of people who are more vulnerable to the virus infection, including international travelers, users of illegal drugs, and those living with an infected person.

The predominant cause of the infection is the ingestion of contaminated water or food. The fecal matter moves along the digestion system to the liver where it infects the cells, consequently leading to inflammation. These inflammations can affect the normal functioning of the liver and trigger other symptoms of the disease. The body’s immune system plays an integral role in keeping the body safe from disease. The presence of a pathogen is first detected by the innate immune system through specialized cells dubbed dendritic cells. This triggers production of lymphocytes that helps the body to destroy the infected cells and invaders.

On the other hand, the treatment of the illness remains a mystery. The body clears the virus automatically. In most reported cases of Hep A, the liver takes six months to heal with no lifelong damage. Treatment largely focuses on coping with symptoms. People affected by the disease, for instance, need to take a rest. Moreover, it is important to take snacks and high-calorie foods in order to cope with nausea. It is also important to give the liver a rest mainly through avoiding medications and alcohol. People who have been exposed to the virus are recommended to have immunoglobulin therapy or vaccine within a fortnight of exposure in order to protect the body from infection.

Environmental, as well as individual methods and precautions, can go a long way in protecting the body from the disease. Practicing good hygiene is one of the highly effective precautions. Besides, those infected with the virus should keep away from sexual activities. The Hepatitis A vaccine is also a good antidote for the disease. It is normally administered in two doses – initial immunization and a booster shot after half a year.

The disease is rife in most parts of the world. The U.S., for instance, has reported numerous outbreaks of the disease. In 2014, for instance, the country reported 165 casualties in at least 10 states. The spread of the virus resulted from the consumption of “Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend” sourced from Turkey (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2014). Among the confirmed cases, 55% (91) were females while 11 were children below 18. Conversely, 95 of the reported cases involved people in their midlife. The best way to prevent further outbreaks is constant sensitization of the citizenry on the importance of practicing good hygiene and having immunization.

References

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Multistate outbreak of hepatitis A virus infections linked to pomegranate seeds from Turkey (Final Update). Web.

Sanchez, G. (2013). Hepatitis A virus in food: Detection and inactivation methods. New York, NY: Springer.

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IvyPanda. (2022, January 25). Transmittable Liver Infection, Known as the Hepatitis a Virus. https://ivypanda.com/essays/transmittable-liver-infection-hepatitis-a/

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IvyPanda. "Transmittable Liver Infection, Known as the Hepatitis a Virus." January 25, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/transmittable-liver-infection-hepatitis-a/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Transmittable Liver Infection, Known as the Hepatitis a Virus." January 25, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/transmittable-liver-infection-hepatitis-a/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Transmittable Liver Infection, Known as the Hepatitis a Virus'. 25 January.

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