Hepatitis A

What is it?  

  • A virus that causes inflammation of the liver.
  • But it does not lead to chronic liver disease

How is it transmitted? 

  • Oral-faecal contact (often poor food handling)

Activities which place people at risk

  • Oral contact with contaminated food, water, eating utensils
  • Contaminated hand to mouth contact
  • Household or sexual contact with an infected person

Short term effects 

  • Acute illness lasting 1-3 weeks
  • Usually presents with light coloured faeces, dark urine, fever, fatigue, skin / eye jaundice

Long term effects 

  • Usually no long term illness
  • People do not remain infectious to others


  • Yes


  • Washing hands after using the toilet
  • Attention to food and water hygiene if travelling overseas
  • Use of latex barriers for anal sexual practices (condoms, gloves, dams)


  • There is an antibody test, if the result is positive and someone has never been vaccinated against HAV, then the person has had past exposure to the virus


  • It is a short term acute illness that does not require monitoring


  • There is no treatment for hepatitis A
  • You may want to take symptom relief while you are unwell

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