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Azerbaijani health specialist warns public about Hepatitis A

29 January 2024 [14:14] - TODAY.AZ
Nigar Hasanova

Gastroenterologist Emin Mammadov, a specialist-expert of the Ministry of Health, said that unlike Hepatitis B and C, the Hepatitis A virus does not cause chronic liver disease, Azernews reports.

He mentioned that hepatitis A (infectious jaundice or Botkin's disease) is a viral disease of the liver.

According to the doctor, this is a self-healing disease that causes acute inflammation of the liver and does not cause damage to the liver.

"Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A does not cause chronic liver disease. This virus has been around for many years, has been fully studied, and even has a vaccine against it. The infection is caused by some violations of hygiene rules and is spreading. The hepatitis A virus is mainly transmitted through the fecal-oral route. At this time, a person spreads the infection around with his faeces and contaminated hands. Thus, with a sick person, hand contact or whatever the infected person has touched (food, water) that can fall into the mouth of the surrounding can easily infect others".

"If fruits and vegetables are not washed, the probability of infection with the virus is particularly high. Because the virus is resistant to cold, heat, and even the strong acidic environment of the stomach, however, it can be destroyed by boiling water. The hepatitis A virus can enter the body through the digestive system. Other blood or sexual infections are also possible. However, these cases are less common and do not lead to mass infections," the expert emphasised.

Noting that there is a latent period in a person infected with the virus, the official of the ministry added that the incubation period lasts on average 2-4 weeks.

"The disease manifests itself in a person with symptoms of weakness, quick fatigue, pain in the muscles, loss of appetite, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhoea. This is the period when it is most contagious. Jaundice is then manifested by itching on the skin, and the patient's previous symptoms are relieved. After the onset of jaundice, it may take up to 5 months for the liver to return to its previous level. Especially children aged 5–14 years are more susceptible to the hepatitis A virus. There is no specific treatment method and no specific antiviral drug. Only symptomatic drugs and infusions can be recommended. It is not advisable to use too many drugs for hepatitis A patients. Vaccination is a specific method of preventing the hepatitis A virus. By taking two doses of the vaccine, it is possible to completely protect against this disease."

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