Doctor's Notes on Hepatitis A
(HAV, Hep A)
Hepatitis A is a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver. It is caused by and infection with the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A virus is spread from person to person by contaminated stools (feces), foods that have been touched or prepared by an infected person, and close personal contact with an infected person, or contaminated water. It is not spread by coughing, sneezing, or being near an infected person.
People can be infected with hepatitis A and not show any symptoms. When they do occur, symptoms of hepatitis A can include fever, chills, fatigue, stomach discomfort, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Other associated signs and symptoms can include light-colored stools, dark yellow urine, and yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin (known as jaundice).
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.