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JAMA Patient Page
December 19, 2017

Hepatitis A

JAMA. 2017;318(23):2393. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.17244

Hepatitis A is an infection that causes inflammation of the liver.

This disease is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). This virus can be transmitted (passed on to other people) through contact with the feces of people infected with HAV. Transmission can occur from directly touching feces or by consuming food or water that has been contaminated by fecal matter.

Common symptoms of hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Symptoms usually appear 2 to 6 weeks after exposure. Blood tests can show inflammation of the liver. Some people have mild symptoms or no symptoms and may not even realize they are ill.