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Hepatitis A is a virus that can infect the liver. Most people who get it get better within 3 months and don't have liver problems later.
This virus is found in stool (feces). You can get it if you eat food or drink water that was in contact with infected stool. You can also get it from close contact with an infected person.
Common symptoms include feeling tired or having yellow eyes and skin (jaundice). They also include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and a severe loss of water (dehydration).
Some people don't notice any symptoms for up to 30 days. But even without symptoms, you still can give the infection to other people.
Some people get a shot if they know they were exposed to the virus in the past 2 weeks. Ask your doctor if you need a hepatitis A vaccine or an immunoglobulin shot. These may prevent getting infected with hepatitis A.
After you get hepatitis A one time, you can't get it again. But you can still get other types of hepatitis.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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