The symptoms of hepatitis A usually appear about 4 weeks after infection by the virus that causes the disease and in some cases may not even appear, since the disease may not present any health problem.
However, when it causes symptoms, this type of hepatitis can lead to the following:
- Excessive and frequent tiredness;
- Pain in joints or muscles;
- Fever lower than 39 ° C;
- Decreased appetite;
- Pain in the upper right region of the belly;
- Changes in intestinal transit, with diarrhea or constipation;
In addition, hepatitis A can also cause flu-like symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, headache and feel sick, but unlike the flu, these symptoms can last for up to several weeks.
In cases where the disease continues to evolve, other symptoms such as yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine, light stools, itching of the skin or swelling of the belly may also occur, which usually helps to confirm the diagnosis of hepatitis.
Normally, any of these symptoms disappear within 6 months, but during this time it is also possible that the disease manifests itself in cycles, that is, that it appears for a few weeks and disappear again until it heals completely.
When it can be serious
In most people this type of hepatitis does not cause serious liver damage, disappearing after a few months. However, in rare cases, lesions in the liver may continue to increase until organ failure occurs, resulting in signs such as:
- Sudden and intense vomiting;
- Ease to develop bruising or bleeding;
- Increased irritability;
- Problems of memory and concentration;
- Dizziness or confusion
When any of these symptoms appear, it is advisable to go to the hospital immediately to assess liver function and start treatment, which is usually done with changes in lifestyle, such as reduced salt and protein in the diet, for example.
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When to go to the doctor
It is advised to go to the doctor whenever hepatitis A virus is suspected, especially if symptoms arise because the doctor may prescribe some medicines, such as antihistamines and analgesics, that help relieve the symptoms until they disappear completely.
In addition, as transmission of the disease is easy, the doctor may also recommend that people next to take the vaccine against hepatitis A, so try to decrease the chances of infection.
How to get Hepatitis A
Transmission of hepatitis A can easily occur through ingestion of the virus, so close contact with infected persons should be avoided and it is recommended:
- Wash hands with soap and water regularly, especially before eating or after going to the bathroom;
- Avoid sharing thimbles or toothbrushes with other people;
- Avoid intimate contact without using a condom;
Because of the ease of transmitting the disease, infected people should avoid close contact with others until 1 week after the onset of symptoms.