Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Hepatitis A Is It Contagious

What Is The Diagnosis And Treatment For Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A: How is it spread?

Hepatitis A is diagnosed based on the symptoms and blood test. A blood test usually confirms hepatitis A with the detection of hepatitis A antibodies against the virus.Generally, hepatitis A gets better in a few weeks without any treatment. However, in some the symptoms can last as long as 6 months. The doctor may give supportive treatment to the patient in the form of rest, hydration, healthy diet and abstinence from alcohol until and unless one has recovered completely. Doctor may also give medications to relieve symptoms of hepatitis A. There are no long-term effects of hepatitis A, but there are chances of recurrence of the infection within 6 to 9 months in 10 to 15% of cases, according to CDC. Liver failure is considered a very rare complication of the disease.

If the symptoms persist for long, greater than 6 months then one should visit a doctor. The doctor will usually get liver function test done to see optimal functioning of liver and to see whether it is healing or not.

How To Tell If You Are Hbv Infected

Common Symptoms to Look out for

Remember that symptoms of hepatitis B won’t necessarily appear for several months or years and the answer to is hepatitis B contagious during this period is still yes. Potential symptoms include:

  • Weakness
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes

If you notice symptoms of hepatitis B, talk to your doctor immediately. Do the same if you have been exposed since you can sometimes prevent infection.


You may need to be screened for hepatitis B if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Are pregnant
  • Are a man who has sex with men
  • Use drugs
  • Have been in a country where the virus is common
  • Have been in contact with someone with the virus

Blood Tests

There are various blood tests that screen for hepatitis B.

How Long Before I Have Symptoms

Many people have mild symptoms or no symptoms, which is why hepatitis is sometimes called a âsilentâ disease.

Hepatitis A. The symptoms usually show up 2 to 6 weeks after the virus enters your body. They usually last for less than 2 months, though sometimes you can be sick for as long as 6 months.

Some warning signs that you may have hepatitis A are:

Hepatitis B. The symptoms are the same as hepatitis A, and you usually get them 3 months after you’re infected. They could show up, though, anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months later.

Sometimes the symptoms are mild and last just a few weeks. For some people, the hep B virus stays in the body and leads to long-term liver problems.

Hepatitis C. The early symptoms are the same as hepatitis A and B, and they usually happen 6 to 7 weeks after the virus gets in your body. But you could notice them anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months later.

For about 25% of people who get hep C, the virus goes away on its own without treatment. In other cases, it sticks around for years. When that happens, your liver might get damaged.

Remember, it’s possible to spread all the types of hepatitis even if you don’t show any signs of being sick.

Also Check: Where Can You Get Hepatitis A Vaccine

Starbucks Employee’s Hepatitis A Diagnosis Sparks Rush To Vaccinate Nj Customers

A New Jersey county is scrambling to vaccinate people against hepatitis A after a Starbucks employee tested positive for the highly contagious liver infection, with thousands of customers potentially exposed.

Hundreds of people turned up to a pop-up vaccine clinic near the Gloucester Township Starbucks location on Friday and Saturday after learning that the food handler had worked multiple days this month while infectious, according to county officials.

The Camden County Health Department on Friday advised any unvaccinated member of the public who visited the Starbucks at 1490 Blackwood Clementon Road on Nov. 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 or 13 to get the hepatitis A vaccine “as soon as possible” and no later than 14 days after contact.

The department was notified on Wednesday that the Starbucks worker had tested positive for hepatitis A, and an investigation was begun immediately. The venue was closed until all its employees could be vaccinated, health officials said.

“The county health department has been working closely with the patient and the staff at the Starbucks to address the situation,” Camden County Health Officer Paschal Nwako said in a statement. “Our highest priority is ensuring everyone involved remains safe and healthy. The patient is not currently working, and close contacts have been identified.”

To date, no one else has tested positive as a result of the exposure. Hepatitis A is very contagious, and people can spread the virus before they feel sick.

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Are There Complications From Hepatitis A

Common Symptoms of Hepatitis A  Entirely Health

In extremely rare cases, hepatitis A can lead to acute liver failure. This complication is most common in older adults and people who already have chronic liver disease. If this occurs, you will be hospitalized. Even in cases of liver failure, a full recovery is likely. Very rarely is a liver transplant required.

Also Check: Hepatitis C And Liver Cirrhosis

Hepatitis A And E Symptoms

Hepatitis A and hepatitis E present with similar symptoms. The diseases may develop without any signs or symptoms, or symptoms may be nonspecific. If you experience any of the symptoms below for more than two weeks, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist.

There are three phases of hepatitis A and E, and symptoms may differ depending on the stage. Early in the disease, called the prodromal phase, symptoms may include:

  • Fever

Can Hepatitis A Be Prevented Or Avoided

The best way to protect yourself against hepatitis A is to get the vaccine. The hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for all children older than age 1. It begins to protect you only 4 weeks after you are vaccinated. A 6- to 12-month booster is required for long-term protection. Ask your doctor if the vaccination is right for you.

You should also wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after cooking, after using the bathroom, and after changing diapers.

Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating and avoid raw or undercooked meat and fish.

You are at higher risk for hepatitis A if you:

  • Live with or have sex with someone who has hepatitis A
  • Travel to countries where hepatitis A is common
  • Are a man who has sex with other men
  • Use illegal drugs
  • Have a clotting-factor disorder

Read Also: How Can Hepatitis C Be Transmitted

Hepatitis A Vaccine And Travel

If youâre going to a country where hepatitis A is common and youâve never had the virus or the vaccine, start the vaccination process as soon as you can. It takes 2 to 4 weeks after the first dose for the vaccine to work, but even one shot a few days before you leave will give you some protection.

People who are allergic to something in the vaccine and children younger than 6 months might instead get a shot of immune globulin , which will protect against hepatitis A for up to 2 months.

How Hepatitis C Cant Spread

Mayo Clinic Minute: ABCs of hepatitis

Unlike the flu or common cold, hepatitis isnt airborne. That means it cant be passed through sneezing, coughing, or sharing your food with someone else. Likewise, you cant get it through kissing or hugging someone with the virus.

Theres a small risk of infection if you share personal care items that come in contact with infected blood, like a toothbrush or razor.

The risk of transmission or contraction from sexual contact is very low if both partners are monogamous. However, you should use a condom if you and your partner have had multiple sexual relationships or sex with someone you know has hepatitis C.

As far as traveling, you cant get the virus abroad unless you come into contact with infected blood or receive blood products that contain HCV.

Read Also: Hepatitis C And Treatment Options

Why Isn’t Hepatitis A Vaccine Required For Food Service Workers

While food service employers can offer hepatitis A vaccine to their employees if they wish, most public health authorities prefer not to make it mandatory for the following reasons:

  • There is no evidence that food service workers are at any greater risk of acquiring hepatitis A than are people in other occupations.
  • Only 2-3 percent of all hepatitis A cases are acquired through restaurant food.
  • Employee turnover in some segments of the food service industry is high, making it impractical to vaccinate staff.
  • Emphasis on careful hand washing, use of disposable gloves and not working when ill are measures that can greatly minimize the risk of spreading hepatitis A and a number of other infections.
  • Hepatitis A vaccine would be strongly recommended for food service workers in a county or region where a community-wide outbreak has been recognized.

If I Have Hepatitis How Can I Avoid Giving It To Someone Else

For hepatitis A, one of the best things you can do is wash your hands a lot. That will keep the virus out of food and drinks.

If you have hepatitis B and C, you need to find ways to keep others from making contact with your blood. Follow these tips:

  • Cover your cuts or blisters.
  • Carefully throw away used bandages, tissues, tampons, and sanitary napkins.
  • Don’t share your razor, nail clippers, or toothbrush.
  • If your blood gets on objects, clean them with household bleach and water.
  • Don’t breastfeed if your nipples are cracked or bleeding.
  • Don’t donate blood, organs, or sperm.
  • If you inject drugs, don’t share needles or other equipment.

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How Hepatitis C Can Spread

Hepatitis C spreads through contact with blood from a person with an HCV infection. The most common cause of hepatitis C is from sharing needles with an infected person. The infection also can be passed through unsterilized tattoo needles. Mothers can transmit the virus to their babies at birth, but not through breastfeeding.

Although chances are low, the infection can be spread through contact with fresh or dried blood. When cleaning stray blood, wear rubber gloves and use a of 1 part household bleach to 10 parts water.

Who Should Obtain The Hepatitis A Vaccine

Is hepatitis b contagious

Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for the following persons:

  • Travelers to areas with increased rates of hepatitis A
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Injecting and non-injecting drug users
  • Persons with clotting-factor disorders
  • Persons with chronic liver disease
  • All children aged 12-23 months children not fully vaccinated by age two

The hepatitis A vaccine may also be used in certain outbreak situations where ongoing transmission is occurring. Although studies of certain occupational groups have not shown an increased risk, such people may consider vaccination if they wish to further reduce their risk or are in communities where ongoing outbreaks are occurring.

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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Hav Infection

Hepatitis A can be a mild infection, particularly in kids younger than 6, so many people might not ever know that they had an infection.

When symptoms do happen, they typically start 2 to 6 weeks after exposure to the virus and are more likely in adults and kids older than 6. HAV can cause vomiting and diarrhea, as well as fever, loss of appetite, darker than usual urine , jaundice , and abdominal pain.

HAV infections that cause serious symptoms can last for weeks or even months. Some people with HAV can feel ill for up to 6 months.

Is Hepatitis Contagious

Hepatitis is, simply put, the inflammation of the liver. It is mainly caused by a viral infection, but it can also be due to other factors, such as drugs, toxins, and medication. Is hepatitis contagious? The answer depends on what type of liver infection you have. One of the common signs to watch out for is when your eye turns yellowish and shows eye infection manifestations. Hepatitis A virus is highly contagious, and people with hepatitis can infect other people before the symptoms of the disease show up.

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What Causes Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is caused by infection with the hepatitis A virus. You get the virus when you unknowingly eat a small amount of infected feces. This can happen through person-to-person contact, or through eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

A person can have and spread hepatitis A, even if that person does not have any symptoms. You are most likely to get hepatitis A from another person when:

  • A person who has the virus does not wash their hands properly after going to the bathroom
  • A parent does not wash their hands properly after changing the diaper of an infected child
  • A caregiver does not wash their hands properly after cleaning up the stool of an infected person
  • A person has sex with a person who has the virus

You can also get infected with hepatitis A by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Contaminated food and water are more common in developing countries. When traveling in areas where hepatitis A is common, avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables, shellfish, ice, and untreated water.

How You Can Get Hepatitis A

How Contagious Is Hepatitis C? Who’s Most Likely To Get It?

Hepatitis A is most widespread in parts of the world where 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:

  • eating food prepared by someone with the infection who has not washed their hands properly or washed them in water contaminated with sewage
  • drinking contaminated water, including ice cubes
  • eating raw or undercooked shellfish from contaminated water
  • close contact with someone who has hepatitis A
  • less commonly, having sex with someone with hepatitis A or injecting drugs using contaminated equipment

Someone with hepatitis A is most infectious from around 2 weeks before symptoms appear until about a week after symptoms first develop.

Also Check: Hepatitis C Rapid Test Kit

How To Prevent It

Is hepatitis A contagious? Yes, but there’re ways to avoid getting the disease in the first place as well as measures to avoid spreading the disease to others.


Vaccines are available for the prevention of HAV infection in persons over the age of one. However, the vaccine can take up to 2 weeks to provide protection. Vaccination is recommended for high risk groups of people such as plumbers, people with liver disease, sewage treatment workers, intravenous drug users, etc.

Good Hygiene

Everyone should always practice proper hygiene by washing their hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds, and dry them using a clean towel:

  • After using the rest-room
  • After handling objects such as condoms or diapers
  • Before preparing any food or drink
  • Before your meals

What Can Be Done to Avoid Infecting Others?

If you have HAV, along with washing your hands properly, you should avoid the following conditions when you’re infectious, which is until at least one week after the onset of jaundice:

  • Don’t share eating or drinking utensils with others
  • Don’t prepare any food or drink for others
  • Don’t share towels and linens with others
  • Don’t have intercourse
  • Wash eating utensils in hot soapy water, and machine wash towels and linens

The following people who have HAV should not attend school or work while infectious, including:

What Is Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A, also called hep A, is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. Some people have only a mild illness that lasts a few weeks. Others have more severe problems that can last months. You usually get the disease when you eat or drink something contaminated by poop from a person who has the virus.

The hepatitis A virus usually isnât dangerous. Almost everyone who has it gets better. But because it can take a while to go away, youâll need to take care of yourself in the meantime.

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What Is Hepatitis A And How Is It Transmitted

Hepatitis A, formerly known as infectious hepatitis, is caused by thehepatitis A virus. The virus enters through the mouth, multiplies in the bodyand is passed in the stool. It can be carried on the hands of an infectedperson who does not wash his or her hands thoroughly after using the toilet.The infection can be spread by direct contact with the hepatitis A virus orwhen another person consumes food or drink handled by an infected person whodoes not practice good hygiene, such as handwashing. In some cases, it can bespread to persons who ingest sewage-contaminated water.

How Contagious Is Hepatitis A

Hepatitis C

Casual contacts fellow classmates or work associates, for example are generally not at risk. Because close personal contact in classroomsor offices is unlikely and because older children and adults typically practicegood hygiene, the likelihood that hepatitis A will be transmitted in thesesettings is reduced. However, hepatitis A can be transmitted in child day-caresettings, especially if good hygiene is not practiced after changing diapers.It also is due to the close personal contact among children, who are stilllearning to practice proper hygiene.

The contagious period begins about two weeks before symptoms appear andcontinues up to one week after the onset of jaundice . Because of the delay in symptoms, a person cantransmit the virus without realizing it.

In Illinois, the incidence of hepatitis A has declined since 1990, when1,726 cases were recorded, to 112 cases in 2008.

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How To Prevent Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A can be prevented by staying away from contaminated food and water, maintaining good hygiene by washing hands after using toilet and before eating, using bottled water and washing fruits and vegetables when in a developing country. A person can also avoid getting hepatitis A by receiving hepatitis A vaccine.

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