Skip to content

    Hepatitis Health Center

    Select An Article

    Hepatitis A Symptoms

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Hepatitis A can make you feel like you have the flu.

    It's caused by a virus that you can catch if you come in close contact with someone who has it. The disease spreads easily if you live with other people, and it's common among young children.

    You may also get hep A if you eat or drink something that's got the virus in it. You can cut down on your risk of getting sick if you wash your hands before meals.

    Does Hepatitis A Always Cause Symptoms?

    There's a lot of variety to how people feel when they have the disease. It's possible you might not have any symptoms. But people often feel and look sick. You might even need to go to the hospital.

    Symptoms and complications are more common as you get older. Most children under age 6 with hep A don't have any.

    What Are the Symptoms?

    You can get the first symptoms anytime between 15 and 50 days after you came in contact with the virus. But they usually show up between about 2 and 4 weeks later.

    Most people with hepatitis A usually have:

    • Extreme tiredness
    • Loss of appetite
    • Muscle aches and pains
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Low-grade fever

    Several days later, some symptoms of liver problems can show up. You may have:

    If your child has hep A, he may also have:

    If you're over age 50 or have a long-term liver disease, you may have a more severe case of the disease called fulminant hepatitis A infection. You could have symptoms like:

    • Blood clotting problems
    • Confusion and changes in alertness
    • Liver function continues to get worse
    • Yellowing of the skin and eyes that gets worse

    When you see your doctor, he may spot some more signs that you've got the disease. For instance, he might find that you have:

    • Swollen liver and spleen
    • Tenderness in the right upper side of your belly
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Hepatitus C virus
    Types, symptoms and treatments.
    liver illustration
    Myths and facts about this essential organ.
     
    woman eating apple
    What you need to know.
    doctor and patient
    What causes it?
     
    Hepatitis C Treatment
    Article
    Syringes and graph illustration
    Tool
     
    liver illustration
    Quiz
    passport, pills and vaccine
    Slideshow
     
    Scientist looking in microscope
    Slideshow
    Fatty Liver Disease
    Article
     
    Digestive Diseases Liver Transplantation
    Article
    Picture Of The Liver
    Image Collection