Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Habits like heavy drinking can cause hepatitis, but viral infections can also cause hepatitis, such as hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E.
Symptoms of the hepatitis A virus (HAV) usually don’t appear until you’ve been carrying the virus for a few weeks. Some people with hepatitis A don’t ever develop signs or symptoms.¹ When symptoms do appear, they can be relatively mild and go away in a few weeks.
Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can be easily spread from sexual activities, consuming contaminated food/drinks, or from improper hand washing. If you think you may have been exposed, order our fast & affordable Hepatitis A test.
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Symptoms of hepatitis A may include the following:2
Signs of hepatitis A can start appearing four weeks after exposure, but cases have been reported where symptoms started as early as two weeks and as late as seven weeks post-exposure.
It varies from person to person, but usually, the older someone is, the longer the symptoms may last. According to the CDC, some 10-15% of people with hepatitis A can experience severe illness for up to 6 months.3
Hepatitis A, unlike other types of hepatitis, does not progress into chronic liver disease. However, in extremely rare cases, hepatitis A can become severe and cause liver failure that may be fatal without proper medical attention.4
If you haven’t experienced symptoms yet but suspect you’ve been exposed to the hepatitis A virus, you should consider going to the doctor. As long as you are within two weeks of exposure, you can still get the hepatitis A vaccine or an injection of immunoglobulin (antibody) which can protect you from infection. You should also see a doctor if you tested positive for hepatitis A and would like to receive treatment.
You should also see a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms and you recently:
Medically Reviewed by Erin Zinkhan, MD, BSBE on April 29, 2023Written by Alexa Amador on January 16, 2020