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WHAT? Hep. A is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the liver and causes liver disease.
WHO? While anyone can get Hep. A, groups traveling internationally, living with or having unprotected sex with someone who possesses an active case of Hep. A, using illegal drugs (injectional and non-injectional), or providing child care have a greater risk of getting Hep. A.
HOW? You can get Hep. A by eating food prepared by someone who has Hep. A and failed to wash their hands after using the restroom, by coming in direct or indirect contact with their stool, or by consuming untreated food or water.
WHEN? Symptoms of Hep. A can arise 2-7 weeks after contact with the virus. Some of the symptoms of Hep. A include lethargic behavior, muscle and stomach pains, fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea, dark yellow urine, lightly colored stools, and yellow eyes and skin (called jaundice).
WHERE? A simple blood test at your nearby hospital can tell you if you have Hep. A. While most cases of Hep. A resolve themselves out in a few weeks time, you can alleviate your symptoms by getting plenty of rest, eating smaller meals, avoiding alcohol, taking painkillers, and maintaining a well-ventilated environment to reduce itching. Remember to consult your physician in all cases.
NOTE: You CANNOT get Hep. A by sitting next to, hugging, or being sneezed or coughed on by someone possessing Hep. A. But remember, most people don’t display symptoms of Hep. A.