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Severe Hep A symptom relapse
Dec 4, 2009

Hello Doctor. This question is 3-part.

I was an aid worker in a remote part of Sudan and contracted what I thought was malaria. I self medicated and continued working. 10 days later I was medevaced with a high fever, severe vomiting/diarrhea and jaundice. At the hospital I was diagnosed with a bad case of hep-A resulting in a 60-percent functional liver and a collapsed gaul bladder. Why are some hep-A cases worse than others?

I made a strong recovery and was released from the hospital 3 months ago. Since then I've pushed to resume normal exercise but have had bouts of fatigue and body ache. Is it possible given my severity of hep-A that I am experiencing relapses? If so, how is this possible if the virus is no longer in my body?

Many thanks.

Response from Dr. McGovern

Once in a while hepatitis A can cause fulminant severe disease. Seems like you were one of the unlucky few.

I would wonder if your susceptibility to severe disease might have been compounded by intercurrent infections with other pathogens as well.

The bouts of fatigue and body ache would not be related to HAV. I would see your doctor for further evaluation.

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