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:
- 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:
Sep. 01, 2011
- 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
- Sjogren MH, et al. Hepatitis A. In: Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- Hepatitis A FAQs for the public. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/A/aFAQ.htm. Accessed July 25, 2011.
- 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 25, 2011.
- Hepatitis nutrition therapy. Nutrition Care Manual. American Dietetic Association. http://nutritioncaremanual.org/index.cfm. Accessed Aug. 3, 2011.
- Milk thistle. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/milkthistle/ataglance.htm. Accessed July 25, 2011.