Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A (HAV) is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. It is the most common type of hepatitis reported in the US. Hepatitis A is spread by the fecal-oral route by:

  • putting something in the mouth, even though it may look clean, that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A,
  • through close person-to-person contact,
  • or by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Symptoms include:

  • fever,
  • jaundice (yellowing of skin),
  • fatigue,
  • loss of appetite,
  • nausea,
  • abdominal discomfort and
  • dark urine.

There is no specific treatment for HAV and most recover without complications. Once you get hepatitis A you cannot be re-infected; you are protected for life. Fortunately, there is an effective vaccine to protect against hepatitis A.

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