Generally acquired through contaminated food, hepatitis A is an acute, viral-borne inflammation of the liver.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, an organ that has many important functions.
Your liver converts nutrients into useful substances and breaks down toxins and chemicals.
Hepatitis A is a type of hepatitis caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV).
There are several other types of viral and non-viral hepatitis, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and alcohol-related hepatitis.
Hepatitis A Transmission
You can get hepatitis A if HAV, which is a mixture of blood and blood, enters your body through your mouth.
The virus is transmitted to humans through the “physical-oral route”, which can be:
When an infected person touches objects or food after going to the bathroom and failing to wash their hands properly
When a diaper is not washed properly after handling or cleaning an infected person’s stool
During sexual intercourse with an infected person, especially if it involves direct or indirect anal oral contact, or anal sex in which no subsequent sanitary measures are taken.
You can also get hepatitis A by eating foods or water contaminated with HAV.
Common sources of HAV transmission include fruits, vegetables, shellfish, ice and water.
In the United States and other developed countries, such delivery methods are less common, with better sanitation measures in place, such as treating the water supply with chlorine or chloramine.
You cannot get HAV through casual contact with an infected person, such as hugging or sticking or sneezing.
And babies can’t get HAV from breast milk.
Hepatitis A Risk Factors
You are at increased risk of hepatitis A if you:
Stay or travel in a developing country where hepatitis A is common
Stay with someone who has hepatitis A.
Have oral sex with someone who is infected
They are men who have sex with men
Use illicit drugs, including non-injectable drugs
There are hemophilia or other disorders that affect blood clotting
Work in the healthcare, food, or sewerage industries