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.
- jaundice (yellowing of skin),
- loss of appetite,
- 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.
- Hepatitis A information for consumers
- What's the difference between hepatitis A, B and C? (PDF, 70KB, 1pg.)
- If you are a health care provider, learn more about hepatitis A and the management of patients infected with hepatitis A.