How is it spread?

The Hepatitis A virus is found in feces. It can be passed on if even a tiny amount of feces from a person with hepatitis A comes into contact with another person’s mouth. This means the virus can also be passed on sexually through practices such as oral-anal contact. Personal hygiene, with careful hand washing, can minimize the risk of the virus being passed.

What are the symptoms?

  • A short, mild, flu-like illness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and whites of eyes, darker yellow urine and pale feces)
  • Itchy skin
  • People may have no symptoms at all, but they can still pass on the hepatitis virus to others.

How is it treated?

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. Rest is recommended during the acute phase of the disease when the symptoms are most severe. People with acute hepatitis should avoid alcohol and any substances that are toxic to the liver, including acetaminophen (Tylenol).
How can infection be prevented?
There’s an effective hepatitis A vaccine and hepatitis A and B combo vaccine (click here to learn more). Hepatitis A can be transmitted by particles of infected stool entering your mouth through anal contact and rimming; using dams and washing your hands after sex with an infected person can help reduce the risk. It can also be passed on through using utensils handled by an infected person, or by eating infected food or drinking infected water. If you’re sexually active, sign-up for free STD testing reminders via email, text or both at If We All Test, we can help eliminate syphilis and other STDs in our community.