Hepatitis A

Facts

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease that usually spreads when a person ingests fecal matter—even in small amounts—from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the stool of an infected person. Hepatitis A also can spread from close personal contact with an infected person, such as through sex.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, clay-colored stools and jaundice. Most people who get Hepatitis A feel sick for several months, but they usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. Sometimes Hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death, although this is rare and occurs more commonly in people older than 50 and people with other liver diseases.

Who is at risk

  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who use street drugs, whether they are injected or not
  • People with blood clotting factor disorders
  • People with chronic liver disease
  • household members and other close contacts of adopted children newly arrived from countries where Hepatitis A is common.
  • Those with direct contact with individuals infected with the virus
  • Travelers to countries where the virus is prevalent

Vaccination

Individuals who are concerned about Hepatitis A should contact their doctor, healthcare provider or contact Miami County Public Health for information about vaccination at 937-573-3518. People who know that they have been exposed to someone with Hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider or Public Health to discuss post-exposure vaccination options. Individuals who experience symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider.