In the midst of cold and flu season, you may be familiar with the outbreak of Hepatitis A that has been going around metro Detroit. Because this is a very popular time of year to catch a stomach bug, if you have contracted Hepatitis A, recognizing signs and symptoms may be difficult. It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have contracted Hepatitis A.
What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a liver infection that can range in severity from mild to fatal. Hepatitis A is spread by contact with microscopic amounts of fecal matter from an infected person. More often than not, that person may not know that they are infected. Common forms of transmission are eating, drinking, or sexual activity.
Signs or Symptoms or Hepatitis A
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Clay-colored stools
- Dark urine
- Joint pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
There are people who may be at a higher risk of contracting Hep A. This includes those that frequent travel outside of the country, men who have sex with men, drug users, or working with someone who has Hep A or a country that is known for Hep A outbreaks.
When Should You See a Doctor?
If you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A, it is best to see a doctor. Especially if you are starting to experience symptoms associated with Hepatitis A. Blood tests can be done to rule out or confirm cases of Hepatitis A.
Preventing Hepatitis A
There are ways that you can protect yourself from obtaining Hepatitis A. Getting the Hep A Vaccine as recommended by the CDC is the best way to protect yourself. In addition to the vaccination, proper hand washing techniques, and proper hygiene can also help reduce your risk of getting Hep A.
If you need to get a Hepatitis A vaccine, be sure to schedule your appointment today. Getting the vaccine is your number one preventative measure when it comes to avoiding Hep A. Contact us with any questions you may have regarding the Hepatitis A vaccine.