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Hepatitis A: A preventable threat

Abstract

Hepatitis A is a major public health problem, particularly in the pediatric population. Although hepatitis A infection does not cause chronic liver disease, it is associated with significant morbidity. The virus is transmitted primarily by person-to-person contact via the fecal-oral route. The infection can be inapparent, subclinical, anicteric, or icteric. In general, the severity of the disease is inversely correlated with the age of the child. Occasionally, fulminant hepatitis, which is associated with a high mortality rate, may result. The diagnosis of acute hepatitis A is most commonly made through the detection of immunoglobulin M (IgM) anti-hepatitis A antibody. Treatment is generally supportive. General preventive measures include improved standards of hygiene and sanitation. Universal childhood vaccination is the most effective method for eradicating hepatitis A and preventing its transmission.

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Leung, A.K.C., Kellner, J.D. & Davies, H.D. Hepatitis A: A preventable threat. Adv Therapy 22, 578–586 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02849951

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Keywords

  • hepatitis A
  • morbidity
  • transmission
  • vaccination