Hepatitis A is a communicable infection of the liver that is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). The virus is usually transmitted from one person to another person who is infected with the virus. Another transmittal route is through the feces of an infected person or contaminated food and water (Linder & Malani, 2017).
The disease usually affects anyone, but they are certain groups of people that are at higher risks. Some of these groups include drug users, men who have sexual contact with men, and visitors to other countries where Hepatitis A is common (CDC, 2018). Some symptoms for Hepatitis A are, nausea, fever, and headache, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, joint pain, itching, jaundice and abdominal pain (Linder & Malani, 2017).
Vaccines are available for children age one and older and people who live in areas where Hepatitis A is common, people with long term liver disease, illegal drug users, men who involved in unhealthy sex practices and people who travel to countries where hepatitis is common (Linder & Malani, 2017).
Proper sanitation (washing hands after toilet use) and good hygiene (washing hands before preparing foods) is another way to prevent from contracting Hepatitis A (CDC, 2018). This is a public issue because there are still some people that live in underprivileged areas where sanitation is poor.
The underlying biological aspects and workings of Hepatitis A is that it affects and destroys cells in the liver. When this happens the liver swells, which affects it from functioning properly; therefore, homeostasis will be affected because there is no balance. If left untreated, it can cause further liver damage including death.
Homeostasis is the body’s ability to maintain itself internally at a certain temperature through the cells, tissues and organisms to be able to function normally regardless of disparities in the environment. An example would be the human body, keeping and maintaining an average body temperature of 98.6 degrees or 37 degrees C (Globusky & Stewart, 2017). Another example is the body’s ability to maintain regular blood pressure.
Homeostasis: Body System – Healthy State
The liver contributes to homeostasis by transforming the glucose in the blood to glycogen when the glucose levels in the blood are too high. When the levels are too low it reverses the glycogen back to glucose (Livestrong.com.2017). The liver plays an important role in maintain our body’s functions by filtering toxins from the body, produces bile that helps with digestion and helps to break down carbohydrates (Healthline, 2017).
When the liver is healthy, a steadiness is maintained within the body’s environment when dealing with inside and outside changes. When productivity remains constant in the body systems, homeostasis occurs in a biological or chemical method (Globusky & Stewart, 2017).
Homeostasis: Body System – Disease-State
If there is not enough glucose in the body, homeostasis would be interrupted, and the liver would not function properly. Some of the symptoms of low blood sugar or hypoglycemia are anxiety, sweating, fatigue or tingling in the mouth. Immediate treatment would be needed to elevate blood sugar levels which would include taking high sugar foods, drinks or medication. If hypoglycemia gets worse, symptoms may include seizures, confusion, blurred vision or loss of consciousness (Mayoclinic, 1998-2018).
The Incubation period of hepatitis A can last anywhere from four weeks to a couple months. The virus is excreted in the stool during the first couple weeks of contracting the infection. People over 50 years and those with existing liver disease from hepatitis A are at a higher risk of developing liver failure that causes death (CDC, 2018).
There are two types of vaccines available that protects against Hepatitis A. Since these vaccines became available on the U.S in 1995, death rates have declined by 95%. The first vaccine protects children and adults from contracting Hepatitis A. The second vaccine is a combination of Hepatitis A and B that protects adults form both Hepatitis A and B (U.S Department of Health & Human Services, 2018). These Vaccines are available by appointment at doctor’s offices, clinic, health departments and pharmacies and are covered by most insurances. The vaccine schedules are by age and medical condition. The side effects of the Hepatitis A vaccine include headache, fever, tiredness and soreness at the injection site (U.S Department of Health & Human Services, 2018). The hepatitis A vaccine works by helping the immune system fight infections faster and effectively. Having the vaccine would protect the liver, all the other body functions and return homeostasis which would prevent disease (U.S Department of Health & Human Services, 2018).
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