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Foodborn Disease Hepatitis A Biology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Biology
Wordcount: 1073 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Foodborn diseases is originally caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites that people consumed from contaminated food or water. The National Foundation for Infectious Disease reported that as many as 80 million people are infected every each year in the United States of America(Kalli Harrison,2010). Some types of foodborn disease could be mild while some can be so severe which may lead to death. One of the most common causes of severe hepatitis is hepatitis A virus (HAV), which was found by Purcell in 1973(Richard K Gilfroy,2012). Mankind appear to be the only cistern for this virus. Hepatitis A was discovered to has entity separate from other types of hepatitis during World War II and later studies provide some prevalence and transmission of hepatitis A virus (HAV). This disease occur varies over time and geography with large differences from country to country(Melnick JL,1995). HAV is a type of stable virus, almost found in urban sewage. Poor living conditions and bad hygiene habit can cause infections but if people improve their hygiene, the infections can be delayed. Transmission of this virus by blood is very rare. Hippocrates, who known for the Greek father of medicine, is the one who first to describe the disease in the 5th century B.C(Sharon Bell,n.d). Even though hepatitis A is often found in developing countries which best known for overcrowding and lack of hygiene, The industrialized nations are not run from this problem. This disease already happened in the United States in early 1812 and in Sweden, Australia, and also United Kingdom.

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Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections are very common throughout the developing world, where infections most often are acquired during early childhood and usually are mild or minor which results more proportions of adults that are immune to HAV and epidemics of hepatitis A are uncommon. In well developed countries, this HAV infections or this kind of cases is very rare but communitywide outbreaks may occur. Generally, hepatitis A is one of the most common vaccine-preventable infections acquired during travel. On year 2007, in United States, the most frequently risk factors for this disease was international travel ( reported by 18% of patients). As previous years showed that most travel- related cases which have percentage of 85 were related with travel to Mexico, Central America or South America(Umid M. Sharapov). The period for incubation of hepatitis A averages 28 days which range from 15 to 50 days. For children aged less than 6 years old, almost 70% infections are asymptomatic. If the illness develop, its duration is usually less than two months. Ten percent of infected people have the symptoms for more than 6 to 9 months period. So, the overall case-fatality ratio is 0.3%, but however, the ratio is 1.8% among adults aged more than 50 years.

Hepatitis A is a form of liver disease. Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Inflammation is the painful, red swelling, that happened when the tissues of body become injured or infected. Inflammation also can cause malfunction of organs.

C:UsersuserPictureshepatitis-s1-liver-hepatitis-virus.jpeg Figures of Hepatitis A virus.

Hepatitis A is usually caused by infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Usually this virus spread when a person ingest small amounts of contaminated fecal matter. Thus, hepatitis A virus infected the liver cells and caused serious inflammation(Mayo Clinic staff, 2012). For example, people may get hepatitis A when eat food that prepared by an infected person who has not properly washed their hands. Contaminated foods, water or other drinks (including ice), blood, stool, and direct contact. The virus could enters through the epithelium in the mouth or gut and sent to liver about 2 to 6 weeks.

The symptoms for hepatitis A do not appear until you have the infections of virus for a few weeks. Usually someone that infected for this disease experience fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or discomfort, especially in the area of liver on the right side beneath the lower ribs, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, dark urine, muscle pain and yellow colour appear on skin and eyes(jaundice). Usually this signs and symptoms of this illness last less than two months, but may last as long as six months. Not everyone with this kind of illness develops signs and symptoms(Mayo Clinic staff,2012). Some symptoms of hepatitis A vary and frequently depend on your age. Besides, some people do not have any symptoms that can be detect easily. Some people also may have changes in liver blood test results but some may not have, depends on strength of the virus.


Figure: illustrates the pathogenesis of hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A frequently spread among people if putting something into the mouth which the thing that being put inside has been already contaminated with the things of a person infected with hepatitis A even though it might be look like clean without any germ). Common ways for hepatitis A to transmit include body contact with infected person, sexual contact with infected partner, eating or drinking (consume) food or water that already been contaminated, eat at restaurant where the workers there are infected and much more. The transmission often occurs during childhood and usually maybe have mild symptoms or maybe none at all. This is because the transmission is due to people hygiene and overcrowding within the cities( Arthur Schoenstadt,2007).

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The normal and common treatment for patient is to get bed rest, avoid alcoholic drinks, and eat medicine to relieve the pain or symptoms. Most patient with hepatitis A will recover after a few weeks if its mild infections. For children, they could have immunization (1-18 years of age) consist of two or three doses of the vaccine, but for adults, they need booster dose such as 6 to 12 months following the initial dose of vaccine. The effectiveness of vaccine among 15 to 20 years or more. In general, always wash hands before and after going to the toilet and use soap also. Do not have sexual contact with random people because maybe they are one of the patient. Avoid or try to not touch or hold someone that infected by this virus. Having a healthy lifestyle also can prevent someone from getting this type of illness.


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