Catching hepatitis A means your liver is in for a hard time (just check out the symptoms below).
Hepatitis A is found in sewage and is transmitted by the ‘faecal-oral route’. Translation: your mouth comes into contact with something that’s been contaminated with hep A patient’s poo.
The good news is symptoms usually clear up within a couple of months, but it might take up to six months. In most cases, your liver will make a full recovery.
What are the symptoms?
• Lack of appetite
• Mild fever
• Aches and pains
• Feeling sick
• Being sick
If your liver becomes infected:
• Skin and eyes turn yellow, known as jaundice
• Very dark urine and ghostly pale poo
• Itchy skin
• Painful liver
And in extreme cases:
• Liver failure (1% of hepatitis A cases)
What can you do to treat it?
The bad news is hepatitis A is incurable. You can of course:
• Use painkillers but avoid over use, as it may cause further damage your liver
• Use standard treatments to help reduce itching
• Use medication to help alleviate vomiting
• Rest your liver – so no alcohol and check medications for side effects to liver
How can you prevent it?
Hepatitis A vaccinations are available (I’ve had mine).
The vaccine provides cover for about a year, but if you have a booster vaccine 6-12 months after the first one, then cover lasts for at least twenty years.