HepatitisA is a liverinfection caused by a virus that's spread in the poo of an infected person.
It's uncommon in the UK,but certaingroups are at increased risk. This includes travellers to parts of the world with poor levels of sanitation, men who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs.
Hepatitis Acan be unpleasant, but it's notusually serious andmost people make a full recovery within a couple of months.
Some people, particularly young children, may not have any symptoms. Buthepatitis Acan occasionally last for many months and, in rare cases, it canbe life-threatening ifit causesthe liver to stop working properly (liver failure).
A hepatitis A vaccine is available for people at a high risk of infection.
This page covers:
Vaccination againsthepatitis A
The symptoms of hepatitis A develop, on average, around four weeks after becoming infected, although not everyone will experience them.
Symptoms can include:
The symptoms will usually pass within a couple of months.
Hepatitis A is most widespread in parts of the worldwhere standards of sanitation and food hygiene are generally poor, such as parts of Africa, the Indian subcontinent,the Far East, the Middle East, and Central and South America.
You can get the infection from:
Someonewith hepatitis A is most infectious from around two weeks before their symptoms appear until about a week after the symptoms first develop.
It's only recommended for people at an increased risk, including:
The hepatitis Avaccine is usually available for free on the NHS for anyone whoneeds it.
You can usually look after yourself at home.
While you're ill, it's a good idea to:
Speak to your GP if your symptoms are particularly troublesome or haven't started to improve within a couple of months. Theycan prescribe medications to help with itchiness, nausea or vomiting, if necessary.
Formost people, hepatitis A will pass within two months and there will be no long-term effects. Once it passes, you normally develop life-long immunity against the virus.
For around1 in every7 people with the infection, the symptoms may come and go for up to6 months before eventually passing.
Life-threatening complications such as liver failure are rare, affecting less than 1 in every 250 people with hepatitis A. People most at risk include those with pre-existing liverproblems andelderly people.
If liver failure does occur, a liver transplant is usually needed to treat it.
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus that's spread in the poo of an infected person. Hepatitis A can be unpleasant, but it's not usually serious and most people make a full recovery within a couple of months.
The symptoms of hepatitis A develop, on average, around four weeks after becoming infected and include tiredness, joint and muscle pain, and a mild fever.
Read about how hepatitis A is spread, areas of the world where the infection is most common, and who's most at risk of infection in the UK.
Read about the main treatments for hepatitis A, including what you can do to relieve your symptoms at home and how you can reduce the risk of passing it on.
Find out about the hepatitis A vaccine, including who should have it, which types are available and what the possible side effects are.