Hepatitis A is a vaccine preventable, highly contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). It affects the liver and usually causes mild illness, but can sometimes be severe and result in liver failure. Adults are more likely to have severe symptoms than children.

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What Are The Symptoms?

Some people who have hepatitis A have few or no symptoms. If symptoms develop, they include:

A sudden onset of high fever and sore throat

Tiredness, muscles or body aches

Nausea and cough

Loss of appetite

Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)

How does it spread?

By eating food prepared by an infected person

By drinking contaminated water, including ice cubes

From person to person through, Close Contact

What should I know About Hepatitis A?

  • What is post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)?

    Post Exposure prophylaxis (PEP) refers to trying to prevent or treat a disease after an exposure. For hepatitis A, postexposure prophylaxis is an injection of either hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin. They should be given within the first 2 weeks after exposure.

  • If I have had hepatitis A in the past, can I get it again?

    No. Once you recover from hepatitis A, you develop antibodies that protect you from the virus for life

  • Can a person spread hepatitis A without having symptoms?

    Yes. Many people, especially children, have no symptoms. In addition, a person can transmit the virus to others up to 2 weeks before symptoms appear.

  • How is the hepatitis A vaccine given?

    The hepatitis A vaccine is safe and effective and given as 2 shots, 6 months apart. Both shots are needed for long-term protection.

  • Will the hepatitis A vaccine protect me from other forms of hepatitis?

    No, the hepatitis A vaccine will only protect you against hepatitis A. There is a separate vaccine available for hepatitis B. There is also a combination hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine that offers protection for both viruses.

  • Is it harmful to have an extra dose of hepatitis A vaccine or to repeat the entire hepatitis A vaccine series?

    No, getting extra doses of hepatitis A vaccine is not harmful.

  • Who should get the hepatitis A vaccine before traveling internationally?

    Anyone who is susceptible (unvaccinated or never had hepatitis A) and is planning to travel to countries where Hepatitis A is common should be vaccinated with the hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (IG) before traveling. Even travelers to urban areas, resorts, and luxury hotels in countries where hepatitis A is common are at high risk.

Myths Vs Facts

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