WHAT IS HEPATITIS A?
Hepatitis A (Hep A), is an infection that affects the liver.
HOW IS HEPATITIS A TRANSMITTED?
It is transmitted from person to person through the faecal - oral route. This may be through direct mouth to anal contact or through the ingestion of food or water that is contaminated with the virus. Hep A often occurs in outbreaks, mainly due to contaminated food or water (especially in developing countries). Sexually transmitted outbreaks occur in men who have sex with men.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Many people infected with Hep A do not experience symptoms. People infected at an older age are more likely to experience symptoms. Hep A has an incubation period of approximately 28 days (range 15-50 days). If symptoms occur, they usually last for about a month and include:
- Nausea, loss of appetite
- Dark urine
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
- Right sided pain under the ribs
HOW CAN I PREVENT THIS INFECTION?
Vaccination for Hepatitis A is the best way to prevent infection and is highly effective.
HOW DO I TEST FOR HEPATITIS A?
A blood test can determine if you have been infected with, or vaccinated against Hepatitis A
IS THERE ANY TREATMENT?
There is no specific treatment available for Hepatitis A once you have acquired it.
WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO HEPATITIS A INFECTION?
If you know that you have come into contact with the Hepatitis A virus and are not vaccinated it is important to see you local doctor immediately as there is treatment which may prevent you becoming infected with and experiencing the symptoms of Hepatitis A.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE HELP?
Your local Doctor will be able to help you with any concerns.
This fact sheet is designed to provide you with information on Hepatitis A. It is not intended to replace the need for a consultation with your doctor. All clients are strongly advised to check with their doctor about any specific questions or concerns they may have. Every effort has been taken to ensure that the information in this pamphlet is correct at the time of printing.Last Updated November 2017