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Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is one type of hepatitis caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). The disease is spread primarily through food or water contaminated by stool from an infected person. You can get HAV from

  • Eating food prepared by someone with HAV who did not wash their hands after using the bathroom
  • Having anal/oral sex with someone with HAV
  • Not washing hands after changing a diaper
  • Drinking contaminated water

HAV can cause swelling of the liver, but it rarely causes lasting damage. Individuals with HAV may feel as if they have the flu, or they may have no symptoms at all. HAV usually gets better on its own after several weeks.

The hepatitis A vaccine can prevent HAV. Healthy habits can also make a difference. Wash hands thoroughly before preparing food, after using the toilet or after changing a diaper. International travelers should be careful about drinking tap water.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

For additional information, please click here http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hepatitis-a/DS00397

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