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What are the Causes of Hepatitis-A?

Hepatitis A is a disease caused by a virus (Hepatitis A virus or HAV). The disease causes inflammation of the liver cells. The name is derived from the Greek word -Hepar = liver and the root -itis = inflammation. The condition of hepatitis can either heal on its own or can progress to cirrhosis or fibrosis.

There are several causes for the occurrence of liver inflammation, such as alcohol, drugs, autoimmune diseases, chemicals and viruses etc. The virus HAV is found in stools of infected persons. The virus most commonly spreads when people ingest food or drink contaminated water. The virus also spreads by eating raw food or unpeeled vegetables and fruits washed in contaminated water.

Hepatitis-A Causes –

  • The Hepatitis A virus is found in the stools of an infected person. The disease is transmitted when a person ingest something in the mouth contaminated with stools of an infected person. Following are some of the causes of Hepatitis-A disease –
  • When drinking water and food gets contaminated with faeces of an infected person. This generally happens because of poor sanitary conditions and inadequate hand washing.
  • The virus can easily spread to people who drink contaminated water and swallow food.
  • Shellfish harvested in contaminated water can easily spread the virus.
  • The Hepatitis A virus can be transmitted through contaminated blood transfusions, though it rarely occurs.
  • The risk of infection is greatest in developing countries with poor sanitary conditions.
  • People who are at increased risk for hepatitis A infection are sexual partners of infected people, international travelers, military persons stationed in developing countries, people who come into contact with Hepatitis virus at work and those who use illegal drugs.

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