What is Hepatitis A and E?

It is a virus that infects the liver causing inflammation of the liver.

How is the infection acquired?

Hepatitis A or E is spread primarily through food or water contaminated by faeces from an infected person.

Who is at risk for hepatitis A or E?

International travelers, particularly those traveling to developing countries.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis A or E?

  • Tiredness
  • Stomach upset
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain, Diarrhoea
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Light coloured stool
  • Yellowish eye & skin called jaundice

How is Hepatitis A or E treated?

  • Hepatitis A or E usually gets better in a few weeks without any specific antiviral treatment.
  • Symptomatic treatment is given for itching, nausea, vomting due to jaundice. Patient is encouraged to drink bolied water and home cooked food. Avoid medications unless prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.
  • Small percentage of patients, Hepatitis A or E (1% ) will develop acute liver failure.
  • In pregnant patient with hepatitis E the risk of acute liver failure is 20%.

How can Hepatitis A and E be prevented?

Sometimes history and clinical examination alone can raise suspicion of the diagnosis. However tests are done to confirm the same.

  • The hepatitis A vaccine offers immunity to adults and children older than age 1. In India most people are exposed early and therefore vaccination is not routinely recommended.
  • No vaccine for Hepatitis E, however, research is ongoing.
  • Avoiding tap water when travelling internationally.
  • Practising good hygiene and sanitation also help prevent hepatitis A or E.