Hepatitis is the inflammation and necrosis of the liver, often the result of viral infection. Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease marked by necrosis of hepatocytes and a mononuclear response that swells and disrupts the liver through interfering with the liver’s excretion of bile into the intestine. Hepatitis is caused by infections from viruses, bacteria or parasites, liver damage from drugs, alcohol and overmedication, or immune cells in the body attacking the liver and causing autoimmune hepatitis. A sign of hepatitis is jaundice, which is a yellow color in the skin and eyes caused by the bile bilirubin accumulating in the blood and tissues. The inflammation of the liver can be classified as different types of hepatitis, including hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D and hepatitis E. Hepatitis viruses consist of acute and chronic phases. The acute phase tends to mimic flu-like symptoms such as mild fever, muscle or joint aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite and mild stomach pains. Symptoms can worsen causing dark urine, jaundice, itching, light-colored stool, enlarged spleen, hives, dizziness, headaches and circulation problems.
Hepatitis A Virus is a non-enveloped, single-stranded RNA enterovirus that belongs to the Picornaviridae family. Hepatitis A is spread through the fecal-oral route and is associated with countries that lack public health measures, such as inadequate sewage control. In the United States, 15,000 to 20,000 cases of hepatitis A were reported. Usually these cases are a result of unhygienic food handling, sexual transmission, institutional contact, travel to other countries and the consumption of shellfish. Generally hepatitis A consists of flu-like symptoms and darkened urine is often seen in those infected. Jaundice and swollen liver are only present in extreme cases that constitute 10% of people infected with the hepatitis A Virus. The incubation...
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