Hepatitis A is a liver infection. It is caused by the hepatitis A
virus. The virus is found in the stool of a person who has the disease. It is
spread when people eat food or drink water that has come in contact with the
infected stool. This can happen if you eat food prepared by someone who has not
washed his or her hands after changing a diaper or using the
In countries that have poor sewer systems, you can get
the virus by drinking the water or eating foods washed in the water.
You can only get the hepatitis A virus once.
After that, your body builds up a defence against it.
last about 2 months. They go away on their own in almost all cases and do not
need treatment. Although hepatitis A is an infection of the liver, the disease
does not lead to long-term liver problems.
You can get hepatitis A or give it to other people before and after
symptoms are present.
To avoid getting hepatitis A:
To avoid spreading hepatitis A if you have it:
If you think you have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus
and have no symptoms, talk to your doctor. If you get the vaccine or a shot of immunoglobulin
(IG) within 2 weeks of the exposure, you may not get the disease.
no treatment for hepatitis A. You get better on your own. You can take steps to
help yourself feel better:
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 call line 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.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Z210 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Hepatitis A."
Current as of:
May 24, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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