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How hepatitis A is transmitted from one person to another

  1. Ways of transmission with the least probability
  2. When an infected person is dangerous
  3. The most common ways of infection
  4. Risk groups

Few people still know about how hepatitis A is transmitted from person to person, and yet this disease, also called jaundice and Botkin's disease, is among the most common viral infections in the world. Although this form of hepatitis is not considered to be deadly, in some cases it can lead to serious disturbances in the functioning of the body. To protect against jaundice and prevent complications of the disease, it is important to know how you can get hepatitis A.

To protect against jaundice and prevent complications of the disease, it is important to know how you can get hepatitis A

Ways of transmission with the least probability

Finding out how they become infected with hepatitis A, scientists conducted a series of studies and found that this infection is anthroponotic. This means that it is the sick person who is the source of infection, and it is impossible to “catch” the virus from animals and insects. At the same time, the human body is very susceptible to infection, so infection of healthy people occurs easily and quickly. This explains the high incidence of Botkin's disease worldwide.

Possible ways of transmission of hepatitis A are associated with the characteristics of the vital activity of the virus in the affected body:

  1. So, the causative agents of the disease do not live on the mucous membranes of the respiratory organs, therefore, it is impossible to get airborne infection.
  2. In the vaginal secretion and semen, the virus is also not detected, therefore sexually the disease is not transmitted. At the same time, researchers indicate that the risk of infection occurs during anal sex, as the virus is present in the feces and may be in the rectum.
  3. There are rare cases of infection with hepatitis A through the blood during blood transfusion procedures involving the patient, but today the donor material is carefully monitored, that is, the risk of infection is virtually absent.
  4. Transmission factors such as the use of non-sterile syringes and other medical instruments are unlikely, but are not completely excluded.
  5. Not found evidence that the virus can enter the body of the fetus through the bloodstream of a pregnant woman: pathogenic microorganisms of this type are not able to overcome the placental barrier.

Once in the human body, jaundice pathogens multiply actively in the gastrointestinal tract, therefore the main mechanism of transmission of hepatitis A virus is alimentary (known as fecal-oral) Once in the human body, jaundice pathogens multiply actively in the gastrointestinal tract, therefore the main mechanism of transmission of hepatitis A virus is alimentary (known as fecal-oral). Pathogenic microorganisms are removed from the body of the patient along with feces and remain in the environment, and then get into the body of a healthy person with food, water or when the mucous membrane of the mouth comes in contact with dirty hands.

When an infected person is dangerous

The disease proceeds in several stages:

  1. Infected is dangerous to others from the middle of the incubation period, which lasts from 15 to 50 days.
  2. Virus isolation on Wednesday continues in the prodromal (preicteric) period - 6–7 days before the skin and mucous membranes turn yellow.
  3. It is believed that at the next stage, when the characteristic symptoms of infection occur, the person is no longer contagious, but some studies show that the patient can spread the virus for some time even after all clinical manifestations of jaundice have disappeared.

It is believed that at the next stage, when the characteristic symptoms of infection occur, the person is no longer contagious, but some studies show that the patient can spread the virus for some time even after all clinical manifestations of jaundice have disappeared

In addition, it must be borne in mind that in some cases, hepatitis A is generally asymptomatic, but a person is still a source of infection.

The most common ways of infection

Today, scientists no longer have doubts whether viral hepatitis A is contagious. The high resistance of pathogenic microorganisms to unfavorable environmental conditions causes a large percentage of the population to be infected all over the globe.

The virus can easily withstand not only low and high temperatures, but also many disinfectants, including chlorine. Few people know that for hepatitis A infection it is not necessary to have a virus carrier in your environment. With favorable conditions, the causative agents of the disease can persist in the environment for many days, and freezing makes it possible to prolong the life of the virus for several years.

With favorable conditions, the causative agents of the disease can persist in the environment for many days, and freezing makes it possible to prolong the life of the virus for several years

The most frequent sources of hepatitis A infection are water and food. In a humid environment, the virus can persist for up to 10 months, which is why in countries with a low standard of living, where there are problems with drinking water, there is the highest incidence of Botkin's disease. Just as long the causative agent of jaundice can live on food. The danger of infection occurs even if the food and utensils are washed with infected water. In order for the virus to enter the body, it is not necessary to drink contaminated fluid: swimming in unsafe water bodies and pools also increases the risk of developing hepatitis A.

No less important is the role of the contact-household transmission of the virus No less important is the role of the contact-household transmission of the virus. Hepatitis A is not for nothing called “the disease of dirty hands”: many cases of the disease are associated with elementary non-observance of simple hygienic rules. The virus can persist on household items for up to 7 days and is easy to get on the skin when touched to a seeding surface. You can bring it into your body not only when you visit the public toilet, but also when you open the doors in any public place with a large crowd of people.

Outbreaks of hepatitis A are characterized by the influence of the seasonal factor - as a rule, an outbreak of the disease occurs in the autumn-winter period. It should be borne in mind that hepatitis A can only be experienced once in a lifetime. After suffering the disease, resistant natural protection is formed, and repeated encounters with the virus are no longer terrible.

Risk groups

Not a single person is immune from hepatitis A infection (excluding those who already have immunity against the virus), and yet there are several groups of people for whom the probability of infection is especially high. Call the following risk factors for infection with Botkin's disease:

Knowing which modes of transmission are characteristic of hepatitis A can significantly reduce the risk of infection.

Of course, it is quite difficult to avoid contact with the patient, especially not knowing that he is a carrier of the virus, but you can use the most simple measures that will help you to avoid infection: frequent hand washing, drinking boiled water only, thorough cleansing, and sufficient thermal food processing.