Hepatitis A Chain Infection


Hepatitis A Chain Infection

Hepatitis A Chain Infection

Hepatitis A is considered an acute infectious disease thataffects the liver and is caused by the HAV (Hepatitis A Virus). Inmost cases, especially young people, have very little or no symptomsat all. In those who develop them, the time frame between infectionstage and symptoms, is often between two to six weeks maximum. Thepresents of symptoms may force the infection to last for at leasteight weeks and these may include: vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fever,yellow skin and abdominal pain. This paper will therefore break itdown the six elements of Hepatitis A infection from the infectiousagent to susceptible host.

Infectious Agent

HAV (Hepatitis A Virus) is the causative agent in itself.Hepatitis A illness is typically the reason behind malaise, acutefever, nausea, anorexia, and abdominal discomfort. A few days later,the patient, especially the children experiences jaundice and darkurine (Moore, 2006). Usually, HAV symptoms last for several weekshowever, convalescence may be prolonged sometimes. When there is apre-existing liver disease, hepatitis A symptoms could fail to beexperienced. In addition, young children and infants that areinfected with Hepatitis A Virus may experience a mild illness withvery little or no symptoms at all and the absence of jaundice(Achord, 2002).

Hepatitis A Reservoir

Humans are the only reservoir for Hepatitis A Virus (HAV).There are no other known animal or insect vectors. The virus isspread when it is taken by human through the mouth. It thenmultiplies and is passed to the faeces from the liver. The hands ofan infected person can be contaminated after using the toilettherefore, the virus on the hands spreads directly by contact, orthrough beverages, food or any other object such as a spoon or a cupthat is handled by the infected person. For example, infected peoplecan spread the virus by not washing their hands thoroughly afterchanging nappies or going to the toilet eating non-cooked food suchas salads that may have been contaminated with the virus or takecontaminated water. In addition, Hepatitis A can be spread sexuallywhen there is contact in the anal area from an infected person (Horn,2005).

Hepatitis A Portal of Entry

This refers to the way in which a pathogen is able to accessthe tissues of susceptible host to facilitate transmission. Portal ofentry should be able to access the tissues at ease so as to enable atoxin to act or pathogen to multiply. For example, Hepatitis A Virusportal of entry is the mouth in humans. The virus accesses thetissues by ingestion. It then multiplies in the intestines andinvades the liver, blood and saliva before it starts to clinicallymanifest itself (Moore, 2006).

Hepatitis A Portal of Exit

It refers to the route in which the Hepatitis A Virus escapesfrom the human body. From the liver, the Hepatitis A Virus isreleased into the faeces where it exits through the anal.

Mode of Transmission

The virus infection is transmitted by faecal-oral route fromone person to another or through fomites. Food handlers who areinfected may contaminate non-cooked food, for example, salads.Occurrence of infection is also through contamination of water orfood. What may also harbor the virus is eating shellfish and oysters(Moore, 2006). It is often difficult to know the exact timing of modeof transmission.

Susceptible Host

The susceptible host of hepatitis A virus is often limited toman. It is the person who becomes infected with the virus. Accordingto Achord (2002), infection occurs as a result of the complexity inthe relationship between an infectious agent and a potential host,and the severity and occurrence of the disease depends on the host.

According to Horn (2005), there was a strong disagreement betweeninterviewees’ and literature perceptions of the epidemiologicevidences regarding hepatitis A in many countries around the worldbetween 1995 and 2001. For example, a lot of interviewees in SouthKorea mentioned the epidemiologic data that included disease burdenthe hepatitis A source of infection. In Taiwan, a lot of intervieweesexpressed satisfaction in the country’s use of surveillance system.In Russia and Chile, majority suggested that normal use ofsurveillance offered reasonable epidemiological data on hepatitis Ahowever, recent data could not be verified from the literatureexamination.

Hepatitis A testing is often carried out in the laboratory toascertain and provide data on the infection. Often, the test is usedto assist in diagnosing liver infections regarding the virus. Thereare a few versions of the test that is used to ascertain differentclasses of antibodies in hepatitis A. These are the IgM virusantibody test which helps to detect the initial antibody when it isexposed to the disease by the body, and the IgG virus test thatdetects the antibodies, which develops later during the course of thedisease. It often remains for many years or even for life, in orderto provide protection against infection with the same virus. Achord(2002) stated that it is used to determine if a person has gottenimmunity from the previous immune status whereby the vaccine is notneeded.


Achord, J. L. (2002). Understanding hepatitis. Jackson:University Press of Mississippi.

Horn, L. W. (2005). Hepatitis. Philadelphia: Chelsea House.

Moore, E. A. (2006). Hepatitis: Causes, treatments and resources.Jefferson, N.C: McFarland.

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