Hepatitis A : Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus is primarily spread when an uninfected (and unvaccinated) person ingests food or water that is contaminated with the faeces of an infected person. The disease is closely associated with unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor personal hygiene.
Symptoms: The incubation period of hepatitis A is usually 14–28 days. Symptoms of hepatitis A range from mild to severe, and can include fever, malaise, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and dark-coloured urine and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). Causes: Hepatitis A usually get it when you eat or drink something that's got the virus in it. It's the least risky type because it almost always gets better on its own. It doesn't lead to long-term inflammation of your liver.
Diagnosis: Hepatitis A is not clinically distinguishable from other types of acute viral hepatitis. Specific diagnosis is made by the detection of HAV-specific IgM and IgG antibodies in the blood. Additional tests include reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect the hepatitis A virus RNA, but may require specialised laboratory facilities. Treatment: Therapy is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids that are lost from vomiting and diarrhoea.
Statistics: There were a total of 79 laboratory reports of hepatitis A reported to Public Health England (PHE) during the second quarter of 2015 (April-June 2015). This was a 14.1% decrease on the number of reports during the first quarter of 2015 (n=92) and a 33.9% increase on the same quarter in 2014 (n=59). Age-group and sex were well reported (>98% complete).