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Hepatitis A

From Mediwikis

Virology

Hepatitis A is a single-stranded RNA virus, which multiplies within liver and Kupffer cells.

Presentation

Hepatitis A has a two week incubation period, but may be asymptomatic. An acute presentation of hepatitis A may involve:

  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever

Transmission

Hepatitis A is transmitted via an oro-faecal route. It is usually seen in epidemics, often in Autumn, in overcrowded areas. In some areas of underdeveloped countries, such as Yemen, there is a 100% infection rate by the age of 10. Flooding often results in a sharp increase in infections.

Prognosis

This infection is very rarely life threatening, and does not develop into a chronic phase like other forms of hepatitis.

Hepatitis E

This is a RNA herpesvirus that causes a hepatitis extremely similar to that of Hep. A. It is transmitted enterally, and by animals guts too. While there is normally no progression to chronic liver disease, mortality is around 1-2%, but 20% for pregnant women!