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Hepatitis A – Symptoms, causes, treatment, & prevention of this disease.

It’s important to know that many people, especially children, have no symptoms but can still spread the infection. In addition, a person can transmit the hepatitis A virus to others up to 2 weeks before symptoms appear.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease caused by the HAV virus, commonly spread through contaminated food or drink. However, vaccines and good hygiene can prevent the spread of this disease in individuals aged 1 year and older. Learn more about hepatitis A prevention and treatment.

Symptoms of hepatitis A can last up to 2 months and include:

  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Upset stomach
  • Throwing up
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Dark urine or light- colored stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Feeling tired

In the US, hepatitis B is relatively uncommon, with an estimated 21,600 new infections reported in 2018. Furthermore, the risk of infection varies by geographic region and demographic factors, with certain populations, such as those born in countries with high incidence rates, being at higher risk. Vaccination is recommended for all infants at birth and for individuals at increased risk of the disease, including healthcare workers and those with multiple sexual partners.

Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that spreads through person-to-person contact or by eating contaminated food or drink.

Anyone can get hepatitis A, but certain groups are at a higher risk, including:

  • International travelers
  • Sexual contact with an infected person
  • People who use or inject drugs
  • Those with chronic liver disease, HIV, or who anticipate close contact with an international adoptee are also at increased risk for severe disease from hepatitis A.

Vaccination is recommended for all individuals aged 1 year and older to protect against the virus.

The best way to prevent Hepatitis A infection is through vaccination with the full, two-dose series of the hepatitis A vaccine. This vaccine has been licensed for use in the United States for individuals aged one year and older. In addition to vaccination, practicing good hygiene, such as frequent hand washing and avoiding contact with contaminated food or water, can also help prevent the spread of the virus.

  • People with chronic liver disease
  • People with human immunodeficiency virus infection
  • International travelers
  • People experiencing homelessness

Printable Factsheet Information below: