Nursing Notes : Hepatitis A Symptoms, Incubation Period and Prevention

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease caused by a virus that is spread by dirt / feces of patients; usually through food (fecal - oral), not through sexual activity or through blood. Hepatitis A is lighter than other types of hepatitis (B and C). While hepatitis B and C is spread through blood and sexual activity media and more dangerous than Hepatitis A.


Often there is nothing for young children;

Hepatitis A can be divided into 3 stages:
  1. Introduction (prodromal) with symptoms of fatigue, lethargy, fever, loss of appetite and nausea;
  2. Stadium with symptoms of yellow (jaundice stage); and
  3. Recovery stage (konvalesensi). Symptoms of yellow is not always found. Performed to confirm the diagnosis of liver enzyme tests, SGPT, SGOT. Because the hepatitis A can also occur inflammation of the bile ducts, the examination gamma-GT and alkaline phosphatase can be done in addition to the levels of bilirubin.

Signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A are:
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially in the area of ​​the liver (on the right side below the ribs)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Muscle pain
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).

Incubation Period

Transmission of hepatitis A virus or hepatitis virus type A (HVA) through the fecal-oral, the virus is found in the stool. The virus is also easily transmitted through food or beverages that have been contaminated, also sometimes through sex with an infected person.

Symptoms of hepatitis A usually do not appear until you have the virus for several weeks. Hepatitis A is associated with a clean lifestyle. In many cases, hepatitis A infection never develop to severe hepatitis B or C so it will not cause liver cancer. However, Hepatitis A continues to be treated well because of reduced productivity for those who need to be hospitalized.

Time from exposure to illness from approximately 2 to 6 weeks. Patients will experience symptoms such as fever, weakness, fatigue, and lethargy, in some cases, vomiting often occurs continuously, causing the whole body felt weak. Fever that occurs is a continuous fever, unlike other fever is dengue fever, tuberculosis, thypus, etc..

Suggested Exile

During the 2 weeks after the first symptoms or 1 week after the onset of jaundice. Patients are also expected to maintain cleanliness. And better to be hospitalized in order to receive adequate medical assistance.


Mild cases of hepatitis A usually does not require treatment, and most people who are infected recover completely with no permanent liver damage.

Good hygiene practices, such as washing hands with soap before eating and after toilet is one of the best ways to protect themselves against viral hepatitis A. People close to the patient may require immunoglobulin therapy. Hepatitis A immunization can be done in the form of its own (Havrix) or a combination with hepatitis B vaccine (Twinrix). Hepatitis A immunization is done two times, namely primary and booster vaccinations were performed 6-12 months later, while hepatitis B immunization is done three times, namely basic, one-month and 6 months later. Hepatitis A immunization is recommended for people who are potentially infected as a boarder and they are often snacks outside the home.

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A, since the infection itself will usually heal in 1-2 months. However, to reduce the impact of damage to the liver and speed the healing process, the following steps will be given treatment while hospitalized.

1 Rest. The goal is to provide enough energy for the body's immune system to fight infections.

2 Anti nausea. One of the effects of infeksiHhepatitis A is nausea, which reduces appetite. This impact must be addressed because nutrition is very important in the healing process.

3 Rest liver. The function of the liver is to metabolize drugs that have been used in the body. Because liver inflammation is experiencing pain, then drugs and alcohol are not necessary and the like should be avoided during illness.

Prevention for Hepatitis A is doing vaccinations are also available for people who are at high risk.

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