Also called: HAV
Hepatitis A is one type of hepatitis - a liver disease - 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 your hands after changing a diaper
- Drinking contaminated water
HAV can cause swelling of the liver, but it rarely causes lasting damage. You may feel as if you have the flu, or you may have no symptoms at all. It usually gets better on its own after several weeks.
The hepatitis A vaccine can prevent HAV. Healthy habits also make a difference. Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing food, after using the toilet or after changing a diaper. International travelers should be careful about drinking tap water.
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