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06/04/24 Public Health Education Topic: Hepatitis A

Per CDC:

The hepatitis A virus is highly contagious. People who get hepatitis A may feel sick for a few weeks or several months but usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. In rare cases, hepatitis A can cause liver failure and even death. This is more common in older people and in people with other serious health issues, such as chronic liver disease.


KEY POINTS

  • Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV).

  • HAV infection usually causes a mild, short-term illness.

  • HAV is contagious and spreads through close person-to-person contact and eating contaminated food or drink.

  • Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection.


Signs and symptoms

Not everyone with hepatitis A has symptoms. Adults are more likely to have symptoms than children. If symptoms develop, they usually appear 2–7 weeks after exposure. Symptoms usually last less than 2 months, although some people can feel sick for as long as 6 months.

Symptoms can include:

  • Dark urine or clay-colored stools

  • Diarrhea

  • Feeling tired

  • Fever

  • Joint pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea, stomach pain, throwing up

  • Yellow skin or eyes (jaundice)





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