Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A (hep A) can be spread several different ways such as fecal-oral. An example of this is that if someone preparing your food goes to the bathroom and does not wash their hands and touches you food. Spread of hep A can also happen when drinking water that has been contaminated with hep A. Both of these examples would most likely happen abroad where the food conditions can be less sanitary. Hep A can also be spread sexually.
People with hep A can feel quite sick such as fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, and jaundice, yellowing of the skin and eyes. It can take anywhere form 15 – 50 days to start showing symptoms of hep A. However only about 7 in 10 adults have symptoms.
Hep A can be quite serious with about 35% of cases needing hospitalization. Hep A rarely ends up with death, however if you have chronic hepatitis C, you are more likely to die from a hep A infection. If you are worried about having hep A get some piece of mind and get tested.