Hepatitis A signs and symptoms typically don't appear until you've had the virus for a few weeks. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially in the area of your liver on your right side beneath your lower ribs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Dark urine
  • Muscle pain
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A usually last less than two months, but may last as long as six months. Not everyone with hepatitis A develops signs or symptoms.

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have signs or symptoms that worry you.

If you've been exposed to hepatitis A, you may prevent infection by having a hepatitis A vaccine or immunoglobulin therapy within two weeks of exposure. Ask your doctor or your local health department about receiving the hepatitis A vaccine if:

  • A restaurant where you recently ate reports a hepatitis A outbreak
  • Someone close to you, such as someone you live with or someone who is your caregiver, is diagnosed with hepatitis A
  • You recently had sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A
  • You recently shared needles for self-injected drugs with someone who has hepatitis A
Sep. 01, 2011