Hepatitis A signs and symptoms, which typically don't appear until you've had the virus for a few weeks, may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially in the area of your liver on your right side beneath your lower ribs
- Clay-colored bowel movements
- Loss of appetite
- Low-grade fever
- Dark urine
- Joint pain
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
If you have hepatitis A, you may have a mild illness that lasts a few weeks or a severe illness that lasts several 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 of hepatitis A.
If you've been exposed to hepatitis A, having a hepatitis A vaccine or immunoglobulin therapy within two weeks of exposure may protect you from infection. Ask your doctor or your local health department about receiving the hepatitis A vaccine if:
Sept. 09, 2014
- You've traveled internationally recently, particularly to Mexico or South or Central America, or to areas with poor sanitation
- A restaurant where you recently ate reports a hepatitis A outbreak
- Someone close to you, such as someone you live with or your caregiver, is diagnosed with hepatitis A
- You recently had sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A
- 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.