Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. The disease is spread primarily through food or water contaminated by stool from an infected person.
Hepatitis A is one of the few foodborne or waterborne illnesses that can be prevented by vaccination. Vaccination is recommended for all children age 12 months and older, for travelers to certain countries, and for people at high risk for infection with the virus.
|Sources||Raw or undercooked shellfish from contaminated waters, raw produce, contaminated drinking water, uncooked foods and cooked foods that are not reheated after contact with an infected food handler|
|Incubation Period||28 days average (ranges from 15 to 50 days)|
|Symptoms||Diarrhea, dark urine, jaundice, fever, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite|
|Duration of Illness||Variable, from 2 weeks to 3 months|
|What Do I Do?||See your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of hepatitis A or think you may have been exposed to the virus. Tests can accurately diagnose whether you've been infected.|
|How Can I Prevent It?|
Hepatitis A (NIH MedlinePlus)
Trusted health information on causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
Hepatitis A (CDC)
General information, including frequently asked questions and patient education resources.