Hepatitis A


Hepatitis A is inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the liver, caused by the hepatitis A virus and is highly contagious.

Hepatitis A is usually spread when the hepatitis A virus is taken in by mouth from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the stool of an infected person. You can get it by eating food or drinking water that has been improperly handled and contaminated with feces (stool), or by eating raw shellfish that came from water contaminated with sewage. You can also get it from person-to-person contact if there is poor hand washing after restroom use or caregiving, or sexual contact with an infected person.


Hepatitis A symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal or joint pain
  • Jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dark urine 
  • Pale stool


To diagnose hepatitis A, your doctor will ask about any symptoms you may have. He or she will also perform a physical exam, and may order blood tests. 

Services & Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no treatment for hepatitis A. However, the liver usually heals itself within a month or two. Until it does, avoid alcohol, sexual activity and cooking for others, and wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.

Vaccination is recommended for:

  • All children at age 1 year
  • Travelers to countries with high infection rates
  • Men who have sexual contact with other men
  • Users of illegal drugs
  • People with chronic liver disease
  • People who are treated with clotting factor concentrates

Manage Your Care Like Never Before

Instant online access to your health information. Schedule appointments, message doctors, view test results, and refill prescriptions.

Get a Second  Opinion

Knowing all your options can make life's toughest decisions a little easier.

Find a GI Specialist

Search for the right doctor for you.

Find a Colorectal Surgeon

Use our tool to find the right doctor for you.