Recovering from hepatitis A can disrupt daily life for months and lead to long periods off work.1
How do people catch this disease?
By eating food or drinking water contaminated by faeces from someone who has the virus.1,3 Hepatitis A can also be caught through sex with an infected person (especially for men who have sex with men) or through injecting illegal drugs.1
Which countries are affected?
Hepatitis A is found in every country but the risk is higher in South America, Africa, Russia and Asia (see map).2
What are the symptoms?
Fever, general feeling of being unwell, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, nausea, discomfort in the abdomen, dark-coloured urine and – because the virus affects the liver – jaundice (yellow eyes or skin).1,5
How serious is the disease?
In most cases, hepatitis A is not serious and people get better in a couple of months. In rare cases, hepatitis can cause fatal liver failure.1,3
Can I reduce the chances of catching Hepatitis A?
You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection: