Understanding Hepatitis A and E

A few diseases can wreak havoc in adult life, and Hepatitis E is one of them. It is the leading cause of acute (short-lived) viral in the world, especially in Asia, Africa and Mexico.

Most commonly found in people of 15-40 years of age, Hepatitis E is even more infectious than Hepatitis A. Today, we have Dr Arpit Jain, Consultant, Internal Medicine at Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon help us understand the A-Z of Hepatitis A and E.

Understanding Hepatitis A:
Hepatitis A is the most innocuous of all the Acute Viral Hepatitis (most common cause of Jaundice). It is caused by Hepatitis A virus and leads to live inflamation. It is generally caught from infected food and water (feco oral route ), so the best way to prevent it is to use fresh cooked food and drink clean water.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A:
- Appetite loss
- Nausea, vomiting, fever
- Pain in liver, especially on the right side of the abdomen just under the rib cage
- Tiredness
- Jaundice (a yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
- Urine is dark brownish in colour, like strong tea.

Treatment of Hepatitis A:
Wait for symptoms to relieve. However, if your sickness doesn't get better, the vaccine for Hepatitis A is available. The vaccine can be taken by anyone who is above the age of 1 yrs. The second dose is given after six month of the first dose.

Understanding Hepatitis E:
The Hepatitis E virus is also transmitted through the faecal-oral route. Hepatitis E is a more serious problem compared to Hepatitis A in terms of clinical course, complications and outcome. This disease can turn dangerous in pregnant women, hence nutritional hygiene is important.

Symptoms of Hepatitis E:
- Appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, fever
- Upper abdominal pain
- Pain in liver, especially on the right side of the abdomen just under the rib cage
- Tiredness
- Jaundice (a yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
- Urine is dark brownish in colour, like strong tea

Treatment for Hepatitis E:
There are no specific medicines that can cure Hepatitis E. Therefore, treatment of hepatitis E is focused on supportive care i.e. when your symptoms get cured. Must- do things in order to keep away from hepatitis E is take plenty of fluids, rest, avoid alcohol and make sure you exercise regularly.

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