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Hepatitis A

 
This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Hepatitis A is a viral disease of the liver transmitted by close personal contact, including sexual contact, or consumption of food or water contaminated by an infected person. Hepatitis A causes fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice for up to two months of infection. Vaccination is the best protection against hepatitis A infection.

How is Hepatitis A Spread?

Hepatitis A infection spreads from an infected person to other by personal contact or contact with objects or food they handle:

  • Ingestion of the virus through close personal contact with an infected person, such caring for someone who has hepatitis A or living in the same household as someone who is infected
  • Consuming food or drink that is contaminated with feces of an infected person
  • Handling objects or sharing objects that are contaminated with the feces of an infected person

Hepatitis A Prevention

Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A virus infection. Hepatitis A vaccination is especially important for persons at higher risk:

  • People reporting drug use (IV and non-IV drugs)
  • People who are currently or were recently in jail or prison
  • People with unstable housing or homeless
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who have been in close contact with someone infected with hepatitis A

In addition, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also recommends routine hepatitis A vaccination for the following people:

  • All children at age 1 year
  • Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
  • People with direct contact with others who have hepatitis A
  • Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
  • People with chronic or long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • People with clotting-factor disorders
  • Any person wishing to be protected against hepatitis A

Getting Vaccinated

Hepatitis A vaccine can be obtained through your healthcare provider or pharmacist. If you are uninsured or underinsured, vaccination is available through any county health department.

More Information

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Last reviewed on Apr 6, 2021
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U Contact and information

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