Hepatitis A Virus Tests: About These Tests

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What are they?

Hepatitis A virus tests are blood tests that check for a substance (antibodies) in your blood that shows whether you have hepatitis A now or had it in the past. The tests also can show whether you are protected from getting the disease.

Why are these tests done?

You may need these tests if:

  • You have symptoms of hepatitis.
  • You may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. You have a greater chance of being exposed to the virus if you have been to a country where the disease is common, you work in a daycare centre, or you live with someone who has the disease.
  • You have had other tests that show you have liver problems.
  • You or your doctor wants to know if you are protected from getting the disease.

How can you prepare for these tests?

You do not need to do anything before you have these tests.

What happens during these tests?

A health professional takes a sample of your blood.

What else should you know about these tests?

  • The tests tell your doctor whether you have hepatitis A now or had it in the past. This can help your doctor know if you may need a vaccine or if you are protected from getting the disease.
  • If you have the tests soon after you were infected with hepatitis A, the tests may show that you do not have the disease even when you have it. This is because hepatitis A antibodies can take weeks to develop, so they may not be in your blood yet.

What happens after these tests?

  • You will probably be able to go home right away.
  • You can go back to your usual activities right away.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.

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 keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: May 24, 2016