The hepatitis A virus, which causes the infection, usually is spread when a person ingests even tiny amounts of contaminated fecal matter. The hepatitis A virus infects liver cells and causes inflammation. The inflammation can impair liver function and cause other signs and symptoms of hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A virus can be transmitted several ways, such as:
Sept. 09, 2014
- Eating food handled by someone with the virus who doesn't thoroughly wash his or her hands after using the toilet
- Drinking contaminated water
- Eating raw shellfish from water polluted with sewage
- Being in close contact with a person who's infected — even if that person has no signs or symptoms
- Having sex with someone who has the virus
- Cheney CP. Overview of hepatitis A virus infection in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July15, 2014.
- Hepatitis A FAQs for the public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/A/aFAQ.htm. Accessed July 15, 2014.
- Hepatitis A. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs328/en/#. Accessed July 15, 2014.
- What I need to know about hepatitis A. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hepa_ez/index.aspx. Accessed July 16, 2014.