version) for printing.
What is hepatitis A?
A is a disease caused by the hepatitis A virus which results
in inflammation of the liver. Formerly, hepatitis A was
called infectious hepatitis. In children the disease is
usually mild, but most adults who develop hepatitis are
ill enough to miss four to six weeks of work.
gets hepatitis A?
can get hepatitis A, but it occurs more often in children.
is the virus spread?
hepatitis A virus is found in the feces (stool) of infected
persons and is usually spread by the fecal-oral route. Hepatitis
A may be spread by food prepared or handled by an infected
person who does not wash his/her hands carefully. Hepatitis
A may be spread by water contaminated with human feces.
It may also be spread by close intimate contact (household
or sexual) and by diaper changing.
are the symptoms of hepatitis A?
first symptoms are usually fever, loss of appetite, nausea,
vomiting, and malaise. This is usually followed by dark
colored urine and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the
whites of the eyes). In general, the severity of illness
increases with age and children under age three may not
have symptoms, though they can still spread the infection.
Most people feel better after one to two weeks, but may
continue to feel tired for a few more weeks.
soon do symptoms appear?
the first symptoms appear at about one month, but can develop
anytime between two and six weeks, after being exposed.
long can an infected person spread the virus?
are most infectious in the two weeks before their symptoms
appear and remain somewhat infectious about one week after
a person get Hepatitis A again?
one infection with hepatitis A, a person cannot get it again.
However, there are different types of viral hepatitis, and
infection with hepatitis A will not protect against other
types of hepatitis.
is the treatment for hepatitis A?
is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. Bed rest is generally
all that is needed. Infected persons should also avoid alcohol,
drugs, or medicines (including aspirin and Tylenol), without
checking with a doctor.
can be done after a person is exposed to a person infected
with hepatitis A?
globulin is given to family members and close (including
sexual) contacts of persons with hepatitis A. The best time
to get the shot is within two weeks after contact with someone
who has hepatitis A. Immune globulin is not recommended
for persons who have contact with an infected person at
school, work or a brief visit to their home.
can the spread of hepatitis be stopped?
spread of hepatitis A can be stopped by always washing hands thoroughly after using the toilet or changing
a diaper. Children should be taught to wash their hands
with soap after using the toilet. Washing hands
before preparing food is very important.
there has been two hepatitis A vaccines approved for use
in the U.S.. To be fully immunized, the person would need
a second injection of vaccine six to 12 months after the
first injection. The vaccine is recommended for anyone traveling
to an endemic area. Persons who eat out a great deal, work
in day care centers, handle food or engage in other high
risk activities may want to consider immunization for hepatitis
can I get more information?
local health department, listed in your telephone directory
Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology (801)
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
BUREAU OF EPIDEMIOLOGY