Summer without hepatitis A: jaundice prevention
Jaundice (Botkin’s disease) or hepatitis A is a seasonal disease. It is in the summer and early autumn that infectious disease specialists notice an outbreak of jaundice. Hepatitis has several types, but today we will talk about hepatitis A, which, unlike other types of the disease, is transmitted through dirty hands, unwashed vegetables or fruits, water, etc. (fecal-oral route of infection). It is in the summer, in the season of mass outdoor recreation, swimming, walking, picnics, fresh vegetables and fruits the risk of jaundice increases.
Symptoms of hepatitis A: the danger of the disease
Hepatitis is called jaundice due to the characteristic symptoms of this disease: the skin, mucous membranes and “proteins” of the eyes take on a yellow color. Also, the urine becomes dark, and the feces on the contrary – light. Jaundice occurs when the hepatitis virus acts on the liver, when the process of active destruction of hepatocytes (liver cells) is underway. However, the yellowness of the skin does not always manifest itself, there are generally asymptomatic forms of hepatitis A, with mild nausea and one-time indigestion, when a person writes off everything for stale products.
Hepatitis A also has signs of foodborne illness infection: abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea. It is important to consult a doctor because a person with hepatitis A, even with its mild form, can infect a large number of people. And each of us, depending on the immunity, the disease will proceed in different ways. In addition, hepatitis A is a dangerous complication of the liver, immune system, etc. and the older a person is, the more serious the consequences of jaundice can be.
Major sources of hepatitis A infection
In the summer, hepatitis A is often infected through water: while swimming in ponds or when drinking running water. Even if you are filtering water through a regular home filter, which are currently sold in every supermarket, there is no guarantee of decontamination from viruses. In the summer in Ukraine, massively begin to carry out repairs of sewage networks and water supply, often there are gusts in the conduits. And, unfortunately, getting sewage into the central water supply system is not uncommon. Therefore, in order to prevent hepatitis A and other intestinal infections, it is better to drink either boiled water or purchase purified water.
The second main source of jaundice is unwashed fruits and vegetables. As well as dried fruits: purchased dates, dried apricots or prunes must be poured with boiling water, then dried and eaten. Fresh fruits, vegetables and berries, greens also need to be thoroughly washed with running water and put on boiling water. Greens – pre-soak for 10-15 minutes. Since the stems and thin sheets can be not only viruses, but also eggs of worms.
And finally, the source number three – dirty hands. Hepatitis A is very contagious and quickly transmitted, however, like other intestinal infections. Even if you are healthy, and someone close to the day before complained of diarrhea or upset stool, then you risk getting infected. Since the patient may not suspect jaundice, take dirty hands on the door handles, household items, etc. Not to mention that after visiting the toilet, coming from the street and before eating your hands, you must always wash your hands.
If jaundice is sick, then be sure to go to the hospital?
Severe forms of hepatitis A with severe intoxication of the body are treated in the infectious diseases hospital. Due to vomiting and diarrhea, the body is dehydrated and a person needs to inject intravenous detoxification solutions, take drugs to restore the liver (hepatoprotectors), etc. In addition, such a patient is contagious to others. Mild forms of hepatitis A can be treated at home: it is only important to follow the doctor’s instructions and carefully monitor hygiene, and constantly carry out wet cleaning and disinfection of the room. The patient should be allocated separate dishes, towels, etc., his personal belongings should be constantly disinfected. The basic principles of the treatment of mild jaundice – bed rest and diet.