by Rick Alan
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver. It is caused by a virus.
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Hepatitis A is caused by a virus. It can be found in stool of people with the infection. The virus can pass to the hands after using the bathroom. The virus can then spread from the hands to other objects or food. Washing hands after using the bathroom will remove the virus from the hands and stop the spread of virus.
The virus may also be spread through:
Things that may increase the chances of hepatitis A:
Hepatitis A does not always cause symptoms. When present, symptoms may include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may suspect hepatitis based on symptoms. A blood tests will confirm hepatitis A. The blood tests can also show how well the liver is working.
Hepatitis A often goes away on its own within 2 months. There are no lasting effects in most people once the infection passes. Those who have the virus and recover will be protected from future infection.
The goals of treatment is to:
Some infections can be severe but this is very rare. A liver transplant may be needed for these infections.
To help lower the chances of hepatitis A:
Some may have a higher risk of infection. A doctor may suggest:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Liver Foundation
Canadian Institute for Health Information
Canadian Liver Foundation
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hepatitis-a-virus-hav-infection . Updated August 8, 2019. Accessed October 31, 2019.
Hepatitis A VIS. What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hep-a.html. Updated September 20, 2016. Accessed October 31, 2019.
Immunization schedules. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html. Updated February 6 2018. Accessed October 31, 2019.
What I need to know about hepatitis A. National Institute of Digestive and Diabetes and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/viral-hepatitis/hepatitis-a. Updated September 2019. Accessed October 31, 2019.
9/25/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114868/Hepatitis-A-virus-HAV-infection : Updated recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for use of hepatitis A vaccine in close contacts of newly arriving international adoptees. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2009;58(36):1006-1007.
Last reviewed October 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 10/31/2019