Common Signs, Symptoms And Preventions Of Hepatitis

Hepatitis A signs and symptoms typically don’t appear until you’ve had the virus for a few weeks. But not everyone with hepatitis A develops them. If you do, hepatitis signs and symptoms can include:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Sudden nausea and vomiting
  3. Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially on the upper right side beneath your lower ribs (by your liver)
  4. Clay-colored bowel movements
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Low-grade fever
  7. Dark urine
  8. Joint pain
  9. Yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  10. Intense itching

These symptoms may be relatively mild and go away in a few weeks. Sometimes, however, hepatitis A infection results in a severe illness that lasts several months.

Risk factors.

You’re at increased risk of hepatitis A if you:

  1. Travel or work in areas of the world where hepatitis A is common
  2. Attend child care or work in a child care center
  3. Live with another person who has hepatitis A
  4. Are a man who has sexual contact with other men
  5. Have any type of sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A
  6. Are HIV positive
  7. Are experiencing homelessness
  8. Have a clotting-factor disorder, such as hemophilia
  9. Use any type of illegal drugs (not just those that are injected)



The hepatitis A vaccine can prevent infection with the virus. The vaccine is typically given in two shots. The first one is followed by a booster shot six months later.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a hepatitis A vaccine for the following people:

  1. All children at age 1, or older children who didn’t receive the childhood vaccine
  2. Anyone age 1 year or older who is experiencing homelessness
  3. Infants ages 6 to 11 months traveling internationally
  4. Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
  5. People in direct contact with others who have hepatitis A
  6. Laboratory workers who may come in contact with hepatitis A
  7. Men who have sex with men
  8. People who work or travel in parts of the world where hepatitis A is common
  9. People who use any type of illicit drugs, not just injected ones
  10. People with clotting-factor disorders
  11. People with chronic liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  12. Anyone wishing to obtain protection (immunity).

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