Hepatitis A (cont.)
In this Article
- Hepatitis A facts*
- What is hepatitis A?
- What is the liver?
- What causes hepatitis A?
- Who gets hepatitis A?
- How could I get hepatitis A?
- What are the symptoms of hepatitis A?
- How is hepatitis A diagnosed?
- How is hepatitis A treated?
- How can I avoid getting hepatitis A?
- What should I do if I think I have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus?
- Hope through Research
- For More Information
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
What causes hepatitis A?
The hepatitis A virus causes hepatitis A. Viruses are germs that can cause sickness. For example, the flu is caused by a virus. People can pass viruses to each other.
Who gets hepatitis A?
Anyone can get hepatitis A, but some people are at higher risk, including
- people who travel to developing countries
- people who live with someone who has hepatitis A
- people who use illegal drugs, including noninjection drugs
- men who have sex with men
How could I get hepatitis A?
You could get hepatitis A through contact with an infected person's stool.
You could get hepatitis A from:
- eating food made by an infected person who didn't wash his or her hands
after using the bathroom
- drinking untreated water or eating food washed in untreated water
- placing a finger or object in your mouth that came into contact with an
infected person's stool
- having close personal contact with an infected person, such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill
You cannot get hepatitis A from:
- someone sneezing or coughing on you
- sitting next to a person who has hepatitis A
- hugging an infected person
What are the symptoms of hepatitis A?
Children younger than age 6 often have no symptoms. Older children and adults often get mild, flulike symptoms, including
- upset stomach
- loss of appetite
- stomach pain
- dark yellow urine
- light-colored stools
- yellowish eyes and skin, called jaundice
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