Basic Questions and Answers About Hepatitis A
September 2, 2015
Does Hepatitis A Cause Symptoms?
Not always. Some people get Hepatitis A and have no symptoms of the disease. Adults are more likely to have symptoms than children.
What Are the Symptoms of Hepatitis A?
Some people with Hepatitis A do not have any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they may include the following:
How Soon After Exposure to Hepatitis A Will Symptoms Appear?
If symptoms occur, they usually appear anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks after exposure. Symptoms usually develop over a period of several days.
How Long Do Hepatitis A Symptoms Last?
Symptoms usually last less than 2 months, although some people can be ill for as long as 6 months.
Can a Person Spread Hepatitis A Without Having Symptoms?
Yes. Many people, especially children, have no symptoms. In addition, a person can transmit the virus to others up to 2 weeks before symptoms appear.
How Serious Is Hepatitis A?
Almost all people who get Hepatitis A recover completely and do not have any lasting liver damage, although they may feel sick for months. Hepatitis A can sometimes cause liver failure and death, although this is rare and occurs more commonly in persons 50 years of age or older and persons with other liver diseases, such as Hepatitis B or C.
How Will I know if I Have Hepatitis A?
A doctor can determine if you have Hepatitis A by discussing your symptoms and taking a blood sample.
How Is Hepatitis A Treated?
There are no special treatments for Hepatitis A. Most people with Hepatitis A will feel sick for a few months before they begin to feel better. A few people will need to be hospitalized. During this time, doctors usually recommend rest, adequate nutrition, and fluids. People with Hepatitis A should check with a health professional before taking any prescription pills, supplements, or over-the-counter medications, which can potentially damage the liver. Alcohol should be avoided.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.