Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is usually spread through contaminated food or water, or through close contact with an infected person.

Symptoms of hepatitis A can range from mild to severe and can include fever, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Most people who contract hepatitis A recover without any lasting liver damage, but in rare cases it can lead to liver failure or death.

Thankfully, there is a safe and effective vaccine to prevent hepatitis A. The vaccine is recommended for all children, travelers to certain countries, and people at increased risk of contracting the virus.

Prevention is key when it comes to hepatitis A. Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food. Only drink bottled or boiled water and avoid ice in drinks when traveling to countries with poor sanitation.

If you think you have been exposed to hepatitis A or are experiencing symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately. With proper treatment and care, most people fully recover from hepatitis A.