Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that results in liver cell damage and destruction.

Hepatitis A is a type of hepatitis that is usually spread by fecal-oral contact, or fecal-infected food and water. It may also be spread by blood-borne infection (which is rare).

Modes of transmission for hepatitis A are:

  • Consuming food made by someone who touched infected feces
  • Drinking water that is contaminated by infected feces (a problem in developing countries with poor sewage removal)
  • Touching an infected person's feces, which may occur with poor hand washing
  • Outbreaks may occur in large childcare centers, especially when there are children in diapers
  • Residents of American Indian reservations or Native Alaskan villages where hepatitis A may be more common
  • Sexual contact with an infected person

A highly protective vaccine for hepatitis A has been developed and is now available.

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