HEPATITIS A VIRUS (HAV)

CDC FACTS

Information on this page taken directly from CDC data.

 

Signs & Symptoms
    Adults infected with HAV will have signs and symptoms more often than children.
    Symptoms of HAV infection include: jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea and fever.
 
Long-Term Effects
    There is no chronic (long-term) infection.
    Once you have had HAV you cannot get it again
    About 15% of people infected with HAV will have prolonged or relapsing symptoms over a 6-9 month period.
 
Transmission
    HAV is found in the stool (feces) of persons with hepatitis A.
    HAV is usually spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth (even though it may look clean) that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A.
 
Persons at Risk of Infection
    Household contacts of infected persons
    Sex contacts of infected persons
    Persons, especially children, living in areas with increased rated of HAV during the baseline period from 1987-1997
    Persons traveling to countries where HAV is common
    Men who have sex with men
    Injecting and non-injecting drug users
 
Prevention
    HAV vaccine is the best protection
    Short-term protection against HAV is available from immune globulin.  It can be given before and within 2 weeks after coming in contact with HAV
    Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing and eating food
 
Vaccine Recommendations
    Vaccine for HAV is recommended for the following persons 2 years of age and older:
        Travelers to areas with increased rates of HAV
        Men who have sex with men
        Injecting and non-injecting drug users
        Persons with clotting-factor disorders (e.g., hemophilia)
        Persons with chronic liver disease
        Children living in areas with increased rates of HAV during the baseline period of 1987-1997

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