Hepatitis A: The Dirty Hands Disease

Hepatitis A: The ‘Dirty Hands Disease’

Hepatitis is a viral disease that has several types. We distinguish between hepatitis A, B, C, E, and G. Every form of these kinds of hepatitis is caused by a different type of virus. In the article below let’s look at the first type of this insidious illness, hepatitis A.


What’s Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A, also called ‘Dirty Hands Disease’, is a viral disease transmitted by the fecal-oral way. The name ‘Dirty Hands Disease’ is used because it occurs where hygiene is poor or non-existent, especially in poor sanitary conditions. Very often it means cities where thousands of people live, during (and after) floods or the other natural disasters. Generally, hepatitis A is the most common form of hepatitis.

How exactly is Hepatitis A spread?

The virus spreads in several different ways. Primarily, an infected person excretes the virus in feces. If the person doesn’t wash the hands thoroughly and touches any object (food or perhaps a handle in public transport), the object is contaminated and the virus may spread further. Later, if someone touches the same object as the infected person before, he could be infected as well.

How to find if your baby could have hepatitis A?

In the beginning, the disease looks like the flu. Your baby has a cold and cough, is languid, has a fever, and doesn’t want to eat much. He could also vomit or have diarrhea, feel a pain in joints, or have a rash. But … after one week when the fever fades, his eyes and oral mucosa turn yellow, his urine becomes uncommonly dark and his stool grayed.

How to cure Hepatitis A?

Firstly, let’s say that Hepatitis A has a good prognosis. There are rarely serious complications and the mortality is very low (almost zero). Unfortunately, hospitalization is a must. The cure itself involves the administration of pills that protect the liver. Your baby also has to follow a certain diet, must eat a lot of vitamin B and must have complete bed rest.

What’s about the convalescence?

After your baby returns home, he must stay completely calm and continue with the strict diet. He can go back to school or kindergarden after the doctor’s permission. Not sooner! Any harder physical activity such as sports is forbidden for a few months (your doctor will give you more information).

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