It may not be fatal, but Hepatitis A is a serious communicable disease.

It’s the acute type of hepatitis transmitted from food contaminated by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Symptoms include fever, jaundice (yellowish discoloration of the skin), body malaise, and enlargement of the liver. In some cases, it’s caused by immune diseases, toxins, or other forms of infection.

Read up as Dr. Hildegarde Yasay-Vistal gave us insights about the viral infection and more.

Self-limiting disease

According to Dr. Yasay-Vistal, type A hepatitis is supposed to be the mildest form of the disease. Almost anyone who gets it is guaranteed to have a full recovery. Unlike its other types (B, C, D), hepatitis A won’t usually turn into a lifelong illness like cirrhosis or liver cancer. It normally relieves within a month to six weeks.

“It’s not the food”

While it’s possible to get HAV from street food, that does not make them the primary source for HAV.

“It’s not the food, it’s the handling,” said Dr. Hildegarde Yasay-Vistal. HAV is acquired through food that are improperly cooked or prepared by someone with hepatitis A.  There is no specific diet to avoid except food coming from feces-contaminated areas. For example, scallops filter through water to get food, so being immersed in infected waters make them common sources of HAV.

Get vaccinated!

In terms of lifestyle and diet choices, it’s best to stay away from unsanitary food places. Practice clean eating and be wary of your food and water sources.

It’s also imperative to get vaccinated for hepatitis A regardless of age. Dr. Yasay-Vistal noted, “If you want to avoid it altogether, just get immunized by getting hepatitis A shots because antibodies will protect you from sickness.”

Dr. Hildegarde Yasay-Vistal’s interview was featured in ManilaMed’s Facebook Live episode called ManilaMed Healthline. Watch the whole interview here.

Generally, hepatitis A does not require treatment, so proper diet and plenty of fluids may work as home remedies. However, it’s still best to seek medical attention. ManilaMed’s Gastrointestinal Medicine offers prognosis on all things concerning the gastrointestinal tract. For more details, visit ManilaMed’s website or call (02) 523 8131 – 65 loc 2631.