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Hepatitis A Risks & Complications

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How is Hepatitis A spread?

Hepatitis A is spread when the mouth comes in contact with objects, foods, or drinks that have been contaminated by the feces (or stool) of a hepatitis A infected person.

Other ways hepatitis A is transmitted include:

  • When a person engages in sexual activities, such as oral-anal contact, with an infected person.
  • When an infected person does not wash his or her hands properly after going to the bathroom and touches other objects or food.
  • When a parent or caregiver does not properly wash his or her hands after changing diapers or cleaning up the stool of an infected person.

How can I prevent getting Hepatitis A?

The best way to prevent contracting hepatitis A is to get vaccinated against it. According to CDC, the vaccine is safe and highly effective at preventing the infection. It is recommended to get vaccinated if you are traveling out of the country or are at a high risk for contracting the virus. Handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can also help prevent you from contracting hepatitis A.

If you have Hepatitis A, it is important to tell your partner

If you have been diagnosed with hepatitis A, it is important to tell your partner and others you have recently come in direct contact with. This way they, too, can be tested and keep from spreading the virus if they have it.

If I have had Hepatitis A, can I get it again?

No, if you have had hepatitis A in the past, your body has developed antibodies to the hepatitis A virus, so you cannot get it again. This same concept applies to the hepatitis A vaccine.